Monday, March 29, 2010

No Sounds of Life from Sunken Ship...

Its amazing how quickly this story was pushed from the front pages.  An act of war is so easily dismissed is distressing.  Latest reports from the survives of the sinking state that an onboard explosion did NOT take place.  They also state categorically that they did not strike an underwater rock or mine.  It makes one wonder exactly what is being embargoed from news reports.  This from

No sounds of life from sunken S.Korea warship: ministry

SEOUL, March 29, 2010 (AFP) - Divers Monday heard no sounds of life from the stern of a sunken South Korean warship, the defence ministry said, dimming hopes that some of the 46 missing crewmen may have survived inside the hull.

A mystery explosion tore the 1,200-tonne corvette in half in the Yellow Sea Friday night near the tense disputed border with North Korea, in one of the country's worst sea disasters.

Rescuers said most of the missing would have been in the stern section, which drivers reached Monday. There had been speculation some may have survived in air pockets in watertight compartments.

"Our navy divers knocked on the stern with hammers in the afternoon, but so far there is no response from the inside," defence ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae told a briefing.

"We have not found any survivors until now."

by Shaun Tandon
(c) 2010 AFP


  1. Solomon,

    The South Korean Defense Minister is now saying that it was likely a mine. A couple of us have posted links to several news articles about this development in the Cheonan sinking thread over at New Wars.

  2. I'll go there and read what's posted. Question though. An Officer from the stricken ship stated that he's positive that they didn't hit an underwater object.

    How does that square with what we're being told?

  3. Solomon,

    The Cheonan's sonar officer has stated that there was no underwater attack against the ship as he heard nothing on passive sonar. Yet, a drifting mine or seabed mine simply released via magnetic influence might make so little noise as to be undetectable prior to the hit and explosion. Also check out the thread about this at in the General Discussion forum. It starts getting interesting on page 14 with several Koreans commenters adding in what they've heard from the crew and officials. On page 18 there appear to be three Koreans commenting on the latest developments, which included Nork recon flights during the day of the sinking and further Nork protests against the current 'exercise' in the Yellow Sea. Of course, the Norks might be worried about the three USN Aegis-equipped warships that have joined a USN rescue & salvage vessel along with the ROKN flotilla that has now amassed just offshore.

  4. Yeah Mr. Reddick.

    Looks like you were right all along.

    Question though. They keep saying that a mine was deployed. I'm not trying to be silly but do they have steerable mines now?

  5. Solomon,

    Oh yeah, modern mines are in but name short range homing torpedoes with warheads that sometimes resemble larger versions of what is found on anti-tank missiles. Whatever type of warhead is utilized the maneuverable, homing maritime mine is bad news for any warship. But then, it may have been a simple old mine from the 1950s (emplaced during the Korean War) or perhaps a not too sophisticated mine set adrift to float south by the Norks.

    The best synopsis of near-current South Korean thought may be represented by posting # 266 of page 18 in that thread concerning this incident. This was posted by Korean commenter Kadrun (who's been collecting information on the situation and posting about it regularly). Note the eventually somewhat convoluted thought processes entering into this analytic synopsis. When confronted by the Norks, then these convolutions seem reasonable. Well, at least in my limited estimation. So, here's Kadrun's synopsis:

    "My personal thinking:
    1) Yellow Sea is one of the worst place; the current is ridiculously strong, and the mud is everywhere. Sonar is not effective if the current is causing the noise and at the very shallow level.
    2) North Korea did use its submarines to infiltrate through western sea border. There are chances that North Korean subs were not detected by any kinds of radar that South Korea has.
    3) The stern and the bow separated as soon as the single explosion occur. There is no way to divide a 1,200-ton ship in a single blow unless mine or torpedo was used.
    4) There was no sign of internal explosion. It is impossible by its structure and no such internal explosion can destroy the corvette (not powerful enough), and even if there was there would be smell from the powder, chain blast, and injuries by burn.
    5) Another corvette fired at unknown object detected by its radar. The military official said it may be the birds, but the location of those "birds" was at the north, and shooting for 30 minute or so is just ridiculous.
    6) There were several North Korean jets from deep inside of their territory (not near the sea). It is assumed that they were trying to get an idea what is going on, but it is possible that they were there to escort the runaway task vessel.
    7) North Korea was quiet untill few hours ago. North Korea usually speaks out if there was a open clash between two forces, but always silent whenever their black op cover blew out.
    8) The depth of the sea where the explosion occur is 40 meters. 40 meters is good enough for a submarine to engage, and perfect for midget subs.

    list of suspects from my view
    1) mine attack by North Korea
    2) torpedo attack by North Korea
    3) mine by either South Korea or the United States; the mine was spreaded during Korean War
    4) 3rd party: China(?)

    p.s. I don't think North Korea is stupid enough to use mine/torpedo that has North Korea mark. May be made in the United States in the worst case."


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