The latest high seas saga, involving the sinking of a South Korean naval ship five days ago leaving 46 crew members missing out of 104 on board, has all the elements of a whodunit and yet is not grabbing a lot of print space, notes Grumpy Editor.
Latest development has four U.S. Navy ships assisting in the area off South Korea’s Baengnyeong Island, in the Yellow Sea, near the North Korea border.
But what caused the blast at the ship’s stern that split the 1,200-ton patrol boat Cheonan in two remains a mystery.
• The South Korean vessel may have hit “intentionally floated underwater mines,” says South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young.
• The incident occurred within sight of a North Korean military base where surface-to-ship guided missiles and artillery are deployed, according to a statement from the office of president Lee Myung-bak.
• Possibility of a torpedo attack, relates Kim Sung-chan, South Korea’s navy chief of staff.
• “Human torpedoes” could have been used, suggests a North Korean defector now living in Seoul.
North and South Korea technically remain in a state of war stemming from the 1950-1953 Korean War that also involved thousands of U.S. military personnel heading a United Nations force.
The conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.