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Cheonan Probe Results to Go to 30 Major Nations

Posted May. 19, 2010 03:01,   


The results of the probe into the Cheonan sinking will be sent to more than 30 countries and parties to the six-way nuclear talks Wednesday, a day ahead of the official announcement.

The joint inspection team will announce the results of its probe on the cause of the sinking Thursday after the military releases to the media the cross-sectional surface of the sunken vessel Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry is known to have circulated and held a briefing of the draft of the probe results at a security policy coordination meeting at the presidential office Tuesday.

A government official in Seoul said, “Defense Minister Kim Tae-young briefed the results of the probe into the Cheonan sinking at the meeting and circulated the first draft of the announcement, asking the advice of other participants.”

The military reportedly came up with an analysis that concludes that a torpedo sank the Cheonan, and that metal debris and explosives collected from the sea bottom were similar to those from North Korean torpedoes designed for drills.

Hence, the announcement will likely contain the results of analyses of components including RDS, an element of an explosive found on the Cheonan’s main stack, and the highly enriched explosive HMX as well as sulphate and the country of manufacturing.

In addition, chances are high that the announcement will include the maneuvering tendencies of North Korean submarines during the incident as studied by the intelligence analysis team of the joint inspection team.

The team reportedly concluded that the explosive element detected was the same as an explosive from North Korean torpedoes used in exercises, one of which was collected seven years ago. Since countries use difficult ratios of components when producing explosives, experts could use this data to say the North was responsible for sinking the Cheonan.