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S. Korea: Torpedo May Have Sunk Warship


South Korea's defense minister says a torpedo might have been responsible for the sinking of a warship near the tense North Korean border last week.

Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told parliament Friday that he believes a torpedo and not a North Korean sea mine as he had claimed earlier in the week was the more likely cause of the ship's destruction.

The 1,200 ton warship Cheonan broke in half and sank last Friday after an explosion during a patrol along the tense maritime border west of the Korean peninsula.

Kim said the ship's sonar did not detect any approaching torpedoes before the blast, but added that it may take awhile before the investigation is complete, once all the wreckage is recovered.

Rescuers resumed searching Friday for the 46 sailors who remain missing after rescue efforts were suspended for two days due to bad weather.

There have been no signs of any survivors at the bottom of the Yellow Sea. Fifty-eight crewmembers were rescued soon after the ship went down.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has ordered the military on alert to guard against any provocations by North Korea, even though officials in Seoul say there is no evidence that Pyongyang was directly involved.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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