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S. Korea should wisely deal with N.K. denying torpedo attack

S. Korea should wisely deal with N.K. denying torpedo attack

Posted March. 25, 2015 07:37,   


Thursday marks the fifth anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean naval corvette Cheonan by North Korea’s surprise torpedo attack, which broke the warship into two pieces and left 46 sailors killed. Two days prior to the fifth anniversary on Tuesday, the North claimed once again that the Cheonan incident was fabricated and demanded Seoul lift May 24 sanctions imposed against Pyongyang. “The claim that North Korea should apologize before South Korea lifts the May 24 measure is a nonsensical complaint,” said the National Defense Commission, the supreme authority of North Korea. “Our unchanging claim is that the May 24 measure was forged based on fabricated ground should be lifted immediately,” in displaying a perpetrator trying to hold the victim responsible.

The Cheonan’s sinking was confirmed as having been committed by the North by a team of 73 people including experts from the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Sweden. The torpedo’s propellant with a handwritten sign reading "No. 1" in Korean was secured as evidence. Nevertheless, the North has never admitted to sinking the Cheonan by torpedo attack. Many people who are well informed of internal situations in the North have also admitted that the sinking was committed by Pyongyang. In an email to an editorial writer of the Tokyo Shimbun in Japan, Kim Jong Nam, the eldest brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, decisively testified that the torpedo attack on Cheonan and artillery attacks on Yeonpyeong Island are the North’s provocations, which were plotted to give justification for the North’s ownership of nuclear weapons and military-first policy.” A North Korean defector who was senior official from the North’s central government agency testified that the North accorded the title of the heroes of the Republic (North Korea) to the captain, vice caption and skipper of the submarine that sank the Cheonan. Commanding a combat drill aboard a submarine in June last year, Kim Jong Un also said, “Ruthlessly cut off the back and waist of enemy ships,” which reminds people of the Cheonan’s sinking by a torpedo attack.

Groundless rumors that the incident was created by the South Korean government itself, which were circulating on social network services, are defaming the 46 fallen heroes of the Cheonan and their bereaved families. Choi Won-il, former captain of the Cheonan, said, “Looking at people who are distrustful of the South Korean government’s announcement arguing the Cheonan’s sinking was committed by the North, enemies that attacked the Cheonan with a torpedo would be smiling,” in expressing deep regret. Choi Seon-hee, the wife of the late first sergeant Choi Jeong-hwan, a victim in the Cheonan sinking, lamented, saying, “As time goes by, the only thing that remains is suspicions, which have nothing to do with the truth.”

Even if the South is to hold dialogue with the North, the former should not write indulgence for the North’s attack on the Cheonan. The North continues its acts of provocations, because the South is dealing too softly with the Stalinist country, and has not sternly retaliated. With Pyongyang still denying its attack on the Cheonan, if the South lifts the May 24 measure without having any justifiable cause, Pyongyang will look down upon Seoul all the more.