The investigators — a team from South Korea, America, the UK, Australia and Sweden — concluded that:
- The South Korean corvette Cheonan was split in two by the shockwave and bubble-jet effect resulting from the underwater explosion of a 250 kg torpedo.
- The parts dredged up from the sea floor where the Cheonan was sunk match the schematics of a weapon offered for sale by North Korea, the CHT-02D torpedo.
- A hand-written Korean inscription, translating to “No. 1,” was found on one such part. The same marking appears on a North Korean torpedo found by the South seven years ago.
- “A few small submarines and a mother ship supporting them left a North Korean naval base in the West [i.e., Yellow] Sea 2-3 days prior to the attack and returned to port 2-3 days after the attack.”
- No other country had a submarine in the area at the time.
(Hats off to Geoff Forden for nailing the first point as soon as the two halves of the Cheonan were raised from the sea bottom.)
Perhaps needless to say, this development bodes ill for an early return of North Korea to the Six-Party Talks.
Late Update. The official response from the DPRK:
May 20. 2010 Juch 99
Spokesman for DPRK National Defence Commission Issues Statement
Pyongyang, May 20 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the DPRK National Defence Commission issued a statement today as regards the sinking of warship “Cheonan” of the south Korean puppet navy.
The statement reads:
We had already warned the south Korean group of traitors not to make reckless remarks concerning the sinking of warship “Cheonan” of the puppet navy.
Nevertheless, the group of traitors had far-fetchedly tried to link the case with us without offering any material evidence. It finally announced the results of the joint investigation based on a sheer fabrication, which assert that the warship was sunken by our torpedo attack, in a bid to mislead the public opinion inside and outside Korea.
It is, at the same time, crying out for “punishment” and “retaliation” internally and foolishly seeking to prod the international community into applying additional “sanctions” against the DPRK.
What matters is that traitor Lee Myung Bak is taking the lead in such anti-DPRK smear campaign, even daring slander the headquarters of our revolution.
Meanwhile, Kim Thae Yong and other gangsters of the south Korean puppet military accustomed to flattery and blind obedience echo Lee Myung Bak’s outbursts. This smear campaign is fanned up by Ryu Myung Hwan and other ultra-rightist conservatives of south Korea.
This is also joined by the U.S. and Japanese aggressors who are making desperate efforts to keep their hostile policy towards the DPRK on its orbit.
We would like to question them so busy linking the above-said case with the DPRK why they don’t link with it the death of a puppet army soldier, crashes of fighter plane and gunship of the puppet navy and air force and the sinking of a civilian fishing boat that occurred one after another almost simultaneously.
It is the age of science and technology.
As a swollen balloon is bound to break, any lie is bound to be brought to light no matter how hard one may try to make it sound plausible.
What is evident is that the sinking of warship “Cheonan” can never be construed otherwise than a “conspiratorial farce” and “charade” orchestrated by the group of traitors in a deliberate and brigandish manner to achieve certain political and military aims because only 46 soldiers met miserable deaths while officers survived the case.
This being a hard reality, they are pointing a dirty accusing finger at us like a thief crying “Stop the thief!”
It is a trite method of the successive south Korean puppet regimes to fake up a shocking case and use it for floating a story about “north wind” whenever they find themselves in a crisis.
These days they are using for this plot even “deserters from the north” who had found their ways to a dumping ground and human scum.
The National Defence Commission of the DPRK responsible for the defence of the country and the security of the nation clarifies the principled stand of our army and people in view of the grave situation where the sinister plot of the group of traitors may lead to reckless actions against us.
1. As the group of traitors declared that the sinking of the warship “Cheonan” is linked with us, the NDC of the DPRK will dispatch an inspection group to the spot of south Korea to verify material evidence concerning the linkage.
The group of traitors should produce before the dignified inspection group of the DPRK material evidence proving that the sinking of the warship is linked with us.
We remind the group of traitors in advance that there should be not a shred of doubt about the material evidence to be produced before the inspection group.
2. Our army and people will promptly react to any “punishment” and “retaliation” and to any “sanctions” infringing upon our state interests with various forms of tough measures including an all-out war.
The all-out war to be undertaken by us will be a sacred war involving the whole nation, all the people and the whole state for completely eliminating the strongholds of the group of traitors who orchestrated “the conspiratorial farce” and “charade” and their followers and building instead a reunified power in which the whole nation emerges powerful and prosperous.
The tough countermeasures to be taken by us will prove to be practical actions of justice for dealing unpredictable sledge-hammer blows at the group of traitors who blocks national reconciliation and unity and stirs up an atmosphere of confrontation in the south Korean society.
3. Now that the group of traitors declared what it called “decisive actions”, we will brand any small incident that occurs in the territorial waters, air and land where our sovereignty is exercised including the West Sea of Korea as a provocation of confrontation maniacs and react to it with unlimited retaliatory blow, merciless strong physical blow.
It is our invariable iron will to react to “retaliation” with more powerful retaliation and to “punishment” with indiscriminate punishment of our style.
Availing ourselves of this opportunity, we sternly warn the U.S. and Japanese authorities and riff-raffs, their poor lackeys, to act with discretion.
The world will clearly see what dear price the group of traitors will have to pay for the clumsy “conspiratorial farce” and “charade” concocted to stifle compatriots.