London, Apr 22 (ANI): The South Korean ship, which was sunk in mysterious circumstance on March 26, was the handiwork of an elite North Korean suicide squad of human torpedoes.
South Korea now plans to raise the front half of the 1,200-tonne Cheonan, which went down near a disputed sea border with North Korea.
The South Korean military points to intelligence gathered in a joint investigation with the United States, marking the strongest accusations yet that North Korea was behind the March 26 incident.
South Korea's Defence Intelligence Command had alerted the navy weeks ahead of the sinking that North Korean suicide squads were being deployed, according to reports in Seoul.
These "human torpedo" squads were said to involve small submarines and navigated so close to the target that their torpedoes or explosives blow up both target and the attackers, SKY News reports.
They can also be timed to explode while the attackers escape from the vessel, the mass-circulation South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.
The attack by North Korea was in retaliation for an earlier defeat, the report added.
"It is the military intelligence's assessment that the North attacked with a heavy torpedo," a military source was quoted as saying by the news agency Yonhap.
"The military intelligence has made the report to the Blue House the Presidential residence - and to the Defence Ministry immediately after the sinking of the Cheonan that it is clearly the work of North Korea's military," the source added.
North Korea has denied it had anything to do with the sinking, SKY News reports. (ANI)