News / Asia

US Professors Raise Doubts About Report on South Korean Ship Sinking

A new study by U.S. researchers raises questions about the investigation into the sinking of a South Korean navy ship. International investigators blamed a North Korean torpedo, raising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Researchers J.J. Suh and Seung-Hun Lee say the South Korean Joint Investigation Group made a weak case when it concluded that North Korea was responsible for sinking the Cheonan.

Speaking in Tokyo Friday, the two said the investigation was riddled with inconsistencies and cast "profound doubt" on the integrity of the investigation.  "The only conclusion one can draw on the basis of the evidence is that there was no outside explosion," Suh said. "The JIG completely failed to produce evidence that backs up its claims that there was an outside explosion."

Suh is an associate professor in international relations at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, where he runs the Korean studies program.

International investigators said in May that an external explosion caused the South Korean ship to sink last March, killing 46 sailors. The report said a North Korean-made torpedo caused the explosion.

Suh and Lee the cracked portion of the bottom of the ship does not show the signs of a large shock that are usually associated with outside explosions. They add that all the ship's internal parts remained intact and few fragments were recovered outside the ship.

"Almost all parts and fragments should've been recovered within about three to six meters within where the torpedo part was discovered," Lee says, "The fact that only the propeller and the propulsion part was discovered doesn't make any sense to me."

Lee is a professor of physics at the University of Virginia in the United States. Lee also points to a blue mark on a fragment of the torpedo to question the validity of the study. South Korean scientists say that part of the torpedo was marked "number one" in Korean, with a blue marker.

Suh and Lee say the writing would not have survived the intense heat of an explosion.  "This can not be taken as evidence. Because any Korean, North and South, can write this mark," Suh said. "Also, it does not make sense that this blue ink mark could survive so freshly when the paint all around was all burned at the explosion."

Both researchers say their findings do not prove that North Korea did not sink the Cheonan. But they say it is irresponsible for the South Korean government to reach its conclusions based on an inconclusive study.

They are calling for a new international investigation to re-examine the Cheonan's sinking. They also want the United Nations Security Council to pressure the South Korean government and request an "objective and scientific" report before the council deliberates on the incident.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid