September 13th, 2010
08:59 AM ET

South Korea's final word on sinking: North's torpedo blast

A final report says a torpedo caused shockwaves that sunk a South Korean ship killing 46 sailors.

South Korea on Monday released its final report on the March sinking of the warship Cheonan, reaffirming that a North Korean torpedo sent the Cheonan to the bottom of the Yellow Sea, killing 46 sailors.

The full report, prepared based on an investigation conducted by South Korean, U.S., Swedish, British and Australian officials, offers new details to back up May’s preliminary report on the incident.

“The ROK Navy ship Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack while conducting a normal mission in the vicinity of Baengnyeong Island at 09:22 p.m. on March 26, 2010,” the English-version of the report says in its conclusion, according to a Korea Times report.

The report says the torpedo did not strike the ship, but the shockwave generated when it exploded nearby split the Cheonan in two.

"The detonation location was 3 meters to the port from the center of the gas turbine room and at a depth of 6 to 9 meters. The weapon system used was a CHT-02D torpedo with approximately 250 kilograms of explosives manufactured by North Korea." South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quotes the report as saying.

The shockwave effect is substantiated by survivors’ accounts, according to the Yonhap report.

"Forty-one survivors said that they smelled oil, but there were no witnesses of flames, fire or a water column, nor were there any injuries from these factors," Yonhap quotes the full report as saying.

Critics say the final report still leaves questions. For instance, while investigators found traces of explosives on the hull of the Cheonan, no trace of explosives was found on torpedo parts recovered from the scene.

Investigators said that could be because the torpedo parts were too small to hold trace explosives, according to a Korea Herald report.

The final report also includes communication between the captain of the Cheonan, Cmdr. Choi Won-il, and his boss, squadron commander Capt. Lee Won-bo, according to Yonhap.

"I think we've been hit by something," Choi tells Lee.

"What do you think it is?" Lee asks.

"I think it's a torpedo," Choi says.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, calling the results of the preliminary report “sheer fabrication,” according to its official Korea Central News Agency. KCNA had not yet posted any reaction to the full report.

U.S. forces during the summer conducted anti-submarine exercises with South Korea. Further exercises are planned, U.S. officials say.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. someone34

    if that was a US navy ship, hell yea we'll be going to war....again, they wouldnt dare to sink one of our war ships...or any military ships, and if they do...or even try they got balls, i smell world war 3, does anybody smell doesnt smell to good

    September 14, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. mario

    "Shock waves" my behind! It was hit by a torpedo and blown in half! what a bunch of gutless wontders! Just say the commies sunk it and blow one of theirs out of the water! What a bunch of grabastic amphibians pile of crrap these morons are!

    September 14, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. LiberalNN

    And what will the U.N. do or say about this attack? NOTHING.

    September 14, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. pedro conrado richter

    creio que o que houve foi a prática de teste de armas experimentais em seu vizinho, tlvez não buscassem ceifar vidas humanas, porém acreditavam apenas destruir artefatos de navegaçao por ingenuidade de inteligência militar naval, a Coréia do Norte esta carente de tecnologia e seus experimentos fora de controle, tem-se a temer suas imperícias até quando lança misseis, são uma temeridade como nação

    September 14, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sybaris

    Nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way.

    September 14, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jim

    The u.s. should stop supplying food and meds for these people and let them fend for themselves

    September 14, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. vince

    well i think that if north korea keeps this up south korea is gonna lose it and make a wrong move....

    September 14, 2010 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Truth

    Remember this my friend ... next time you purchase anything made in China you are effectively purchasing the bullets that will bury your children.

    September 14, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. dclayt1

    The U.S. staged the attack to instill fear and conflict across Asia to justify American military presence in the region.

    September 14, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Sybaris


      September 14, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven P

      Sybaris wrote: "Source?"

      I heard it on The "X".

      September 14, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gigajoe

    no relevance if the torpedo struck the ship or not. They are intended to detonate beneath the ship to generate a void sending the ship up, and then down to break its back.

    September 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Average American

    Let me guess, duuuuhhhhhhhhhhh, north korea did it?????????????????

    September 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peace Maker or War Maker

    As the global peace maker and defender, do we still have our obligation to guard the SK people, and all the innocent people in this planet from the military forces or regions of evils? Who has the credibility to do the investment report, UN or else? War is not an obsolete measure, but we have to calculate the after math, who is going to pay for all the mess after another war? People in the States? No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not again! We have our own problems to solve, mind our own biz, Please!

    September 14, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Peace Maker or War Maker

    One more major war, we American will be totally bankrupted, Who can say not if one has memory of how much we spent on the Iraq war. Who?

    September 14, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. The Doctor

    As long as you also please remember that we USA are running our very own Auschwitz ( extermination camp ) American Holocaust Against Muslims ( in Guantanamo bay Cuba ) which is our own version of Holocaust with the hostages there brainwashed ( including Stockholm Syndrome ) into making false confessions under torture. The next you hear about Khalid Sheik Mohamed making boasts about 9-11, please remember that he's had 8 or 9 years in solitary under torture ( Stockholm Syndrome ).

    September 14, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bielizna

    Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with? I'm going to start my own blog soon but I'm having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    December 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
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