S Korea 'warned' of sub attack

2010-04-22 14:23

kalahari.com

  • South Korea
    Accessible yet packed with information, South Korea will appeal to geography students and casual... Now R567.00
    buy now

Seoul - Military intelligence officers had warned earlier this year that North Korea was preparing a suicide submarine attack on a South Korean vessel in retaliation for an earlier defeat in a sea battle, a newspaper said on Thursday.

There has been growing speculation that North Korea was behind the March 26 explosion that split the 1 200-ton Cheonan in two and sank it, killing at least 38 people and leaving eight missing.

Seoul has not directly blamed Pyongyang for the blast, and the North has denied involvement, but suspicion remains given the country's history of provocation and attacks on the South.

On Thursday, the mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported the Korea Defence Intelligence Command had alerted the navy weeks ahead of the ship sinking that North Korea was preparing underwater suicide teams in mini-submarines to attack the South.

'Human torpedo' squads


These "human torpedo" squads were said to involve small submarines that are navigated so close to the target that their torpedoes or explosives blow up both target and the attackers, or are timed to explode while the attackers escape from the vehicle, the report said.

The attack preparations were aimed at retaliating against the South over its defeat in a naval skirmish in November, the paper said.

The site of the sinking is near where the rival Koreas fought three times since 1999, most recently a November clash that left one North Korean soldier dead and three others wounded.

South Korea is investigating the wreck of the Cheonan and investigators say preliminary indications are that the blast was external, not on board the ship.

Some experts say the investigation could take several years.

The two Koreas have never signed a peace treaty since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce.

Intelligence

The Chosun Ilbo said the military was investigating whether the navy and Joint Chiefs of Staff had been properly braced for a North Korean attack following the intelligence warning, though it's not clear whether the Cheonan sank due to any attack.

Navy and Joint Chiefs of Staff officials said they would not comment on the report because it involves military intelligence affairs.

Also on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported that military intelligence officers believe a North Korean submarine torpedoed the Cheonan based on a joint intelligence analysis with the US military.

Yonhap, citing an unidentified military source, said the assessment was submitted to the presidential Blue House shortly after the warship sank. The Blue House, however, denied it has received such an intelligence report.

Revenge

A high-profile North Korean defector living in Seoul said he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Il masterminded the blast to stoke tension, cause social confusion in the South and shake its economy.

"It's obvious it's something that Kim Jong Il did. We already know Kim Jong Il has been preparing for this kind of incident," said Hwang Jang-yop, a former secretary of the North's Workers Party who once mentored Kim before defecting to Seoul in 1997, in an interview with Chosun Ilbo published on Thursday.

He didn't provide any evidence for his belief.

A Seoul-based activist said on Thursday that he also believes Kim is behind the attack, citing an unidentified North Korean military officer as saying the leader visited a west coast naval command in February and called for revenge for the earlier defeat.

Choi Sung-yong told reporters that the officer told him that a North Korean semi-submersible vessel torpedoed the Cheonan.

Assassination plot

Two North Korean agents were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly plotting to assassinate the 87-year-old Hwang who has openly condemned Kim's regime as totalitarian.

Hwang has shrugged off the plot, saying he wasn't intimidated by it.

Seoul officials have said there has been no definitive evidence indicating the North's involvement yet.

President Lee Myung-bak said earlier this week that South Korea would deal "resolutely and unwaveringly" with the outcome of an investigation into the sinking.

Yonhap said South Korea is considering deploying more artillery and anti-missile radars on islands near the western sea border in the wake of the ship sinking. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said it couldn't confirm the report.

- AP

Read more on:    south korea  |  north korea
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 10:15 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS approaching Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.