South Korea: Ship Was Hit By North Korean Torpedo

Navy Was Warned of North Korean Suicide Subs

Last month’s sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan ship along the disputed naval border with North Korea has reportedly been solved, with reports that South Korean military intelligence had confirmed a North Korean torpedo attack not long after the sinking.

The revelation was only released today by South Korea’s Yonhap News, which confirms that they still have found no torpedo fragments to conclusively prove the attack. It does however raise questions.

Perhaps the most important is why the Defense Ministry lied and said they were “confidence” that the sinking was definitely not an attack by North Korea, which came at about the same time that they were reporting to the president that it almost certainly was.

In addition, the attack does not appear to have been a shock, as the South Korean Navy was warned by military intelligence earlier in the year to be on the lookout for possible attacks by “human torpedoes” in the region.

The term “human torpedo” is actually something of a misnomer, and actually refers to tiny one-man North Korean attack subs which are designed specifically to launch suicide attacks by colliding with naval vessels. Again, no proof has yet come to light that proves any such thing was used in the Cheonan attack.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.