Investigators say S Korean warship torpedoed by DPRK, Pyongyang says to verify

13:05, May 20, 2010      

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday rejected a conclusion drawn by a multinational team of investigators over warship Cheonan's sinking and warned that any retaliation could lead to an "all-out" war.

A spokesman from the National Defense Commission of the DPRK rejected the conclusion as a "fabrication." The commission said it will dispatch inspectors to South Korea to verify the claim announced by a multinational team of investigators.

President Lee Myung-bak has vowed to take "firm measures" against the DPRK over the sinking of its warship.

"(We) will take firm measures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoings through strong international cooperation," Lee told Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in phone talks.

The group of civilian and military experts concluded early Thursday that the South Korean navy warship was torpedoed by a DPRK submarine and the torpedo was manufactured in the DPRK.

The investigators said the 1,200-ton warship Cheonan went sunk as a result of an "external underwater explosion" caused by a torpedo fired by a DPRK submarine, resulting in one of the worst peacetime casualties in the country's naval history.

"The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean (DPRK) submarine. There is no other plausible explanation," they said in a statement.

The statement said the joint civilian-military investigation group (JIG) assessed that "a strong underwater explosion generated by the detonation of a homing torpedo below and to the left of the gas turbine room" caused Cheonan to split apart and sink.

The statement said, the propulsion parts, including propulsion motor with propellers and a steering section that have been collected from the site of the sinking, matched in size and shape with the specifications on the drawing presented in introductory materials provided to foreign countries by the DPRK for export purposes.


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(Editor:张茜)

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