S. Korea formally blames North for warship sinking

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Seoul (South Korea), May 20 (ANI): South Korea on Thursday formally blamed North Korea for the sinking of its naval warship "Cheonan" on March 26 this year, after a multinational team of investigators completed their probe.

According to The China Daily, the group of civilian and military experts said the 1,200-ton corvette class warship was sunk as a result of an "external underwater explosion" caused by a torpedo fired by a DPRK (North Korea) submarine, resulting in one of the worst peacetime casualties in South Korea's naval history.

"The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean (DPRK) submarine. There is no other plausible explanation," they said in a statement.

The DPRK has denied its involvement in the accident in April.

On Wednesday, the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea released a statement accusing Seoul of taking advantage of the sinking of its warship to push north-south relations to a catastrophe.

According to The Telegraph, North Korea has warned of "full-scale war" if the South imposes new sanctions on the country.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed "stern action" for the provocation and called an emergency security meeting for Friday.

It maybe recalled that 58 sailors were rescued from the frigid Yellow Sea waters near the Koreas' maritime border, but 46 perished in South Korea's worst military disaster since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Fragments recovered from the waters near the Koreas' maritime border indicate the torpedo came from Communist-dominated North Korea, investigators said.

The civilian and military investigation team included experts from South Korea, the U.S., Australia, Britain and Sweden.

The report's release is likely to further increase tensions on the divided Korean peninsula, where the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty.

The land border is the world's most heavily armed, and the western sea border has been the site of several deadly naval clashes since 1999.

North Korea disputes the maritime border drawn by the United Nations at the close of the war in 1953. (ANI)

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