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20 May, 2010 22:17

Report names N. Korea in torpedo attack on S. Korea navy ship

An investigation by experts from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Sweden has concluded that the sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March was caused by a North Korean torpedo.

The investigation uncovered part of the torpedo on the sea floor that matched North Korean design and lettering that has appeared on previous North Korean torpedoes collected by South Korea.

The March 26 attack near the North and South Korean border killed 46 South Korean sailors. North Korea is claiming no involvement and is threatening South Korea with war if they retaliate.

This is a familiar pattern with the North Koreans,” said Denny Roy, a Northeast Asia Security Expert at the East West Center in Honolulu. It is likely there will be another round of United Nations Security Council resolutions condemning North Korea which will continue to solidify “the cold war we now find ourselves in,” said Roy.

Roy said the stability in the situation is surprisingly strong, which is likely to prevent all out war but has emboldened North Korea to feel “they have a free hand to carry out acts like this.”

The United States may toughen their defense in the region, “beefing up resources” to aid South Korea in preventing similar events in the future. The two nations, South Korea and the US may also engage in a joint military exercise to send a clear message aimed at North Korea.

The US is even considering adding North Korea back to the list of states that sponsor terrorism, said Roy.