The bow of the sunken naval ship Cheonan appeared on the surface of southern waters off Baengnyeong Island yesterday.
Military authorities and a private salvage team pulled up the bow, which sank to the bottom of the sea after tilting 90 degrees, and stood the vessel up. The salvage work is set to begin at 8 a.m. today.
The mast was gone but the windows of the bows navigating platform remained intact. The 72-millimeter main cannon and the 40-millimeter sub-cannon in front of the navigating platform were also mostly intact.
A naval officer said, The cover of the sub-cannon seems to have been torn when the bow was pulled out of the water after being connected with chains.
Late in the evening, the salvage team lowered the bow to the bottom of the sea after finishing its primary work required before salvage operations. The Navy and the salvage team will start salvaging the bow and searching for servicemens bodies for 14 hours.
The bodies of seven missing sailors remain missing, with the corpses of 39 out of the 46 missing sailors found. The military will also dispatch a civilian-military joint investigation team to the barge on which the bow will be placed to thoroughly investigate the cut section and the vessels bottom.
The funnel on which the body of Petty Officer First Class Park Bo-ram was found was salvaged yesterday. The funnel was salvaged nearby waters off Baengnyeong Island, where the stern of the Cheonan sank. Along with the bow, the funnel will be shipped on a barge and sent to the 2nd Naval Fleet headquarters in Pyeongtaek (Gyeonggi Province).
The funeral for the Cheonan victims will be held after the salvage of the bow Sunday or Monday. The Council of Sailors Dead from the Cheonan Incident decided to begin funeral procedures such as placing corpses in coffins and cremation today.
A Cabinet meeting hosted by Prime Minister Chung Un-chan also decided to call a naval vessel to be built Cheonan. The government will also designate the crew of the private fishing boat Geumyang who died while sailing back to port after helping rescue operations as those who died for a righteous cause.