Seoul, Mar. 28 (ANI): A South Korean naval ship with 104 people onboard, might have sunk due to a mine explosion off the North Korean coast, South Korean Government soures said.
While South Korean Navy Chief Lee Ki-shik confirmed that the 1,200-ton warship Cheonan went down after the unexplained explosion ripped a hole in the ship's bottom, he didn't pinpoint the exact cause of the explosion.
Earlier, North Korea's involvement in the incident was being indicated but Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted sources at the Presidential Office, as saying on Saturday that possibility of the DPRK's involvement in the episode seemed low.
"It is hard to say for sure now, but chances appear to be slim that North (DPRK) was related," Xinhua quoted a senior government official, as saying.
"There has been no unusual movements by the DPRK so far," President Lee Myung-bak's spokesman said after he convened a second emergency meeting with security officials on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the rescue operation has been stepped up.
Military divers arrived at the scene of the warship sinking to go underwater to search the sunken vessel.
But they had to delay the operation due to stormy weather.
There were a total of 104 sailors onboard when the ship sank.
Fifty-eight were rescued on Friday, while other 46 crew members remain missing. (ANI)