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Naval Vessel Sinks Two Days after “NK Submarine” Intelligence

Naval Vessel Sinks Two Days after “NK Submarine” Intelligence

Posted October. 13, 2004 23:01,   


Four naval officers who were on a special training naval vessel are now missing as the vessel sank on its way back to the base from a drill.

According to the report given by the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff on October 13, a special training vessel from the ROK Fleet Command sank around 11:52 p.m. on October 12, 20 miles east of Ulsan on its way back to the base after completing “joint exercise on land, water, and air” in the East Sea.

Four of the five people on board were missing after the accident. The captain of the vessel, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lee Ki-ju; the assistant captain, Petty Officer 1st Class Yang Young-sik; the chief engineer, Petty Officer 1st Class Oh Gil-young; and the regulatory officer, Army Master Sergeant Kim Kwang-woo are now missing. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kim Kyung-seok was rescued by a nearby speedboat that was returning to the base with the sunken vessel. Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense said on October 13 that it conducted a full-out anti-submarine operation to no avail after receiving an intelligence claiming to have “spotted a suspicious submarine-like object in the East Sea,” from the U.S. forces on October 10.

Regarding a possible correlation between the sunken vessel and intelligence about the North Korea submarine, the publicity officer of the ministry Nam Dae-yeon said, “There is no connection between the two cases considering the location and the details of the accident.”

Ho-Won Choi bestiger@donga.com