Explosive traces found on sunken S.Korea warship - and in other news 50,000 NK troops gather on the border

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Explosive traces found on sunken S.Korea warship - and in other news 50,000 NK troops gather on the border

Two separate articles, one emerging agenda? Is North Korea provoking war with South Korea, now that its troops are in place?

Traces of explosive from a torpedo have been found on debris from a sunken South Korean warship, fuelling suspicions that North Korea sank the vessel, a report said Thursday.

Aluminium fragments from a torpedo casing have also been found, Dong-A Ilbo newspaper quoted a member of a team investigating the blast as saying.

President Lee Myung-Bak hinted Tuesday that North Korea was involved in the sinking, which cost 46 lives. He promised a "resolute" response when the cause is established following the multinational probe.

The unidentified team member was quoted as saying the explosive traces were found on a funnel that was torn off the Cheonan by the blast on March 26 near the disputed border with North Korea.

"It has been confirmed that the explosive came from a torpedo," the team member was quoted as saying.

Detailed analysis of salvaged aluminum fragments also confirmed they are from a torpedo, the individual said.

"This type of aluminum is not in used in this country. As long as the torpedo was not ours, there is only one country that may attack a South Korean navy vessel," the team member reportedly said.

The paper quoted a senior military official as saying investigators would announce their findings no later than mid-May.

Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young told legislators last Friday that a piece of aluminum that was not from the sunken ship had been retrieved, but did not elaborate.

The North, whose leader Kim Jong-Il is visiting China this week, denies involvement. Kim reportedly met President Hu Jintao Wednesday evening and South Korean analysts have said the ship incident would likely be discussed.

The South has not publicly ruled out a military response if the North is proved to have sunk the Cheonan, but has said it would probably take the issue to the United Nations Security Council.

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North Korea has completed deployment of about 50,000 special forces along the border with South Korea, amid high tensions over the sinking of a Seoul warship.

The deployment began two or three years ago and seven 7,000-strong divisions are now in place, an unidentified senior government official told Yonhap news agency.

"The threat that North Korea may infiltrate special forces for limited warfare has become real," the agency quoted a separate senior defence ministry official as saying.

The defence ministry refused to confirm the Yonhap report, but President Lee Myung-Bak discussed the North's special warfare capabilities at an unprecedented meeting Tuesday with 150 top officers from all armed services.

At the meeting, Mr Lee hinted strongly that the North was involved in the sinking of a South Korean warship with the loss of 46 lives near the disputed sea border on March 26.

Suspicions are growing that the 1,200-tonne ship was hit by a torpedo from the communist state, which has denied involvement.

Mr Lee said the South must be better prepared to tackle "asymmetric" military threats including special warfare units.

A defence ministry report in 2008 said the North - learning lessons from the Iraq war - had strengthened its special warfare capability by augmenting light infantry units and enhancing their street warfare, night-time and mountaineering training.

The North has about 180,000 special forces, it said, adding they would be used for "multifarious types of attacks and mixed warfare" against the South.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...
By netchicken: posted on 6-5-2010








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