Go to contents

`We Knew N. Korea Did It From the Beginning`

Posted May. 21, 2010 11:29,   


The bereaved relatives of the victims of the Cheonan sinking said Thursday that they knew North Korea was responsible for the sinking from the beginning.

“We felt from the beginning that the ship was sunk by North Korea, but seeing the evidence makes us feel more resentful. The government should take stern measures,” one relative said.

The joint investigation team concluded that the sinking was caused by a North Korean torpedo. After the team’s announcement, 10 of the bereaved relatives gathered nearby the 2nd Naval Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, to discuss countermeasures.

Most of the relatives said they were not surprised by the probe’s results at all. One said, “Given the series of media reports and circumstances, we expected the investigation team to reach such a conclusion.”

Lee Seong-ki, brother of the late Master Chief Petty Officer Lee Chang-ki, said, “From the very beginning, I`ve believed that North Korea attacked the ship. What else could it have been? Bereaved families should strive to prevent a recurrence instead of being lost in grief.”

“I got on other patrol ships such as the Sokcho and Seongnam during the funeral. Contrary to what many South Koreans believe, patrol ships are in poor condition. How was it possible for a naval ship not to detect North Korea’s attack in advance? The Navy should thoroughly respond to the North’s provocations by developing the latest detection equipment.”

Kim Jong-jung, father of the late Petty Officer 3rd Class Kim Seon-ho, said, “The investigation team just confirmed our suspicion.”

Hong Su-hyang, mother of the late Chief Petty Officer Kim Dong-jin, said, “I’m really furious. I suspected that North Korea was behind the incident. The conclusion that a North Korean torpedo caused the Cheonan to sink makes me mad. I miss my son so much.”

Many relatives of the Cheonan victims are still reeling from the shock over losing their loved ones. Seo Yeong-hee, father of the late Petty Officer 1st Class Seo Dae-ho, said, “I already knew that North Korea attacked the ship. The few words I have cannot change anything. Of course, I have lots to say but I can barely talk when I think of my dead son.”

Yun Mi-yeon, widow of Senior Chief Petty Officer Kim Gyeong-su, said, “Frankly, I feel exhausted. I have no energy to pay attention to the probe’s conclusion. I don’t turn on the TV when my kids are around me.”

Na Jae-bong, father of the late Petty Officer 3rd Class Na Hyeon-min and the leader of the association of the Cheonan victims’ families, said, “The government finished its investigation in a relatively short time. I honestly want to leave immediately for North Korea and kill those responsible. But I’ll wait for the government to announce its countermeasures, including a statement from President Lee Myung-bak.”

jmpark@donga.com image@donga.com