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`NK Torpedo Had Quality Assurance Mark in Catalog`

Posted June. 22, 2010 12:13,   


A catalog promoting a North Korean torpedo that allegedly sank the South Korean warship Cheonan had the name of a North Korean economic organization printed on it as well as a certification of quality, a South Korean government source said Monday.

The civilian-military joint investigation team found six parts of the torpedo written in Japanese after enlarging the weapon’s design. This is because fonts were broken when design drawings contained in a CD-Rom were printed out on a Korean computer. A paper catalog made by North Korea is also known to have been printed entirely in Korean.

The source said Monday, “When the civilian-military joint team briefed 15 member countries of the U.N. Security Council in New York June 14, we showed an image of a North Korean catalog introducing its weapons through a Power Point presentation.”

The government said the torpedo’s remains and the catalog containing drawings were accurate within millimeters when it announced the investigation results May 20, but for security reasons, it did not release the catalog.

The source said, “The catalog includes the name of a North Korean economic group similar to our chamber of commerce,” but did not name the organization or say what type.

“The torpedo catalog used both Korean and English. The printed Korean font is not typical of that used by North Korea that can be discerned at a glance.”

The catalog included a mark guaranteeing product quality printed by the organization, the source said.

“This mark is intended to indicate that the quality of this weapon in the catalog is certified by this organization,” the source said. “There is no denying that the catalog was made by the North given the name of an economic organization equivalent to a government agency in North Korea and the certification mark.”

“The suspicion that North Korea cannot provide design drawings while selling torpedoes is groundless because it tried to increase perception of the weapon’s reliability by putting a quality control mark on it.”

The source said Seoul obtained a printed version and a computer file of the catalog. On the Japanese katakana characters on the torpedo drawings, the source said, “This appeared in the process of reading the North Korean font with a South Korean computer and printing them out. The identical catalog North Korea has already printed out is in Korean.”

Six parts were in Japanese in the torpedo drawings unveiled at the announcement of the investigation results last month. “270 タ-アィ-サィ” was written in the propulsion section in the back and “333 シココケ I” in the motor section. These Japanese characters have no meaning as they are not found in the dictionary.

Some question how the torpedo could have been made in the North since the catalog is written in Japanese, but others say Pyongyang might have appeared to use Japanese parts to gain a higher sale price.

The South Korean government said the fonts were broken and did not unveil that the printed paper was written in Korean, with one source saying, “We cannot show what is written in the six parts in Korean.”