25 S.Korean top military officials face disciplinary action for Cheonan incident

22:00, June 10, 2010      

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South Korea's Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) on Thursday said it has asked the Ministry of Defense to discipline 25 military officials for their failing to properly handle the sinking of the warship Cheonan.

The South Korean national audit agency said in an interim investigation report that the probe confirmed problems in the military authorities and Defense Ministry's combat prevention and preparedness, reporting structures, crisis response systems and management of military secrets.

The report also said the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Naval Operations Command and the Second Navy Fleet Command also failed to take proper measures in preparing for possible attacks by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the western water off the Korean Peninsula.

There was a delay of reporting the situation to higher commands after the warship went down, and the Ministry of Defense did not launch the mechanism of crisis management, it added.

The BAI said it has asked the Defense Ministry to punish 25 officials at seven agencies, including 13 general-level officers, 10 colonel-level officers and two high-ranking officials in the Defense Ministry. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) General Lee Sang-eui is among them.

The 1,200-ton South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, with 104 crew members onboard, sank into waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula on March 26, killing 46 sailors.

South Korea's investigation said the warship was torpedoed by the DPRK, and referred the case to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

But the DPRK denied its involvement, and also asked the UNSC to act to help find the truth of the incident.

Source: Xinhua


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