By Ryan Mauro
South Korea has concluded that a close-range external explosion, most likely from a torpedo, is responsible for the sinking of its ship on March 26, killing at least 40 of their sailors. North Korea has denied responsibility, but it is just another provocation by the Kim Jong-Il regime that is focused on starting a major crisis.
South Korean military-intelligence has written a report that says it is “certain” that the North Koreans were involved in the attack. In a sign that better intelligence is being collected on the North than is often assumed, the Defense Intelligence Command sent a report to the navy in the weeks prior to the attack warning that the North was going to use small suicide submarines in an attack.
In this scenario, a midget submarine would have gotten close to the target and launched the torpedo, destroying itself and the Cheonan, or the submarine would destroy itself after the initial attack in order to kill the ship’s crew as they tried to escape. The latter scenario is less likely because there are no reports of two explosions. It is also possible that the attacking submarine did not destroy itself. Further excavation to try to find remnants of a suicide submarine could shed light on what exactly happened.