South Korean Opposition Throws Doubts Into North Korea’s Role in Cheonan Sinking

Opposition Investigator Was Ousted for Arguing Against Torpedo Attack

A number of figures in South Korea’s opposition Democratic Party are citing serious doubts in the government’s investigation of the March sinking of the Cheonan warship, claiming a paucity of evidence that North Korea was responsible, as is the current government claim.

One opposition member, a former shipbuilding executive named Shin Sang-chul, was even kicked off the investigative panel because officials said he was “intentionally creating public mistrust” by suggesting that the ship actually ran aground in shallow waters and sank.

I couldn’t find the slightest sign of an explosion,” insisted Shin, “the sailors drowned to death. We didn’t even find dead fish in the sea.” a number of private academics have also voiced criticism of the official version, and politicians are critical of the lack of oversight from the government’s probe.

The Obama Administration has praised the current findings. It is hardly surprising that such suspicions are growing, however. as the government officially rejected the notion of a torpedo attack the day it happened, and only came up with the torpedo story a month later.

North Korea has denied having anything to do with sinking the warship, and insists the Southern government faked the evidence presented to the UN. Though such claims would normally be shrugged off it seems that there may indeed have been something to them after all.

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.