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Defense ministry voices confidence in probe results of deadly Cheonan ship sinking

Ministry of National Defense (Yonhap)
Ministry of National Defense (Yonhap)
The defense ministry said Thursday that it trusts the results of a civilian-military joint probe blaming North Korea for the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship, after a presidential committee decided to revisit the case following a petition.

On March 26, 2020, the warship Cheonan went down near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, killing 46 sailors.

After an extensive probe by the joint investigation group involving international experts, South Korea concluded that the sinking was caused by a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine.

But the Presidential Truth Commission on Deaths in the Military decided late last year to launch a fresh probe into the case, after Shin Sang-cheol, a former member of the probe team, filed such a petition. He has long claimed that the ship ran aground but the government manipulated the incident.

"The defense ministry trusts the results of the probe by the investigation team, and we've maintained a consistent stance on the issue," the ministry said in a statement.

A commission official said, "His petition met the conditions required for a probe. We've made the decision in December last year after carrying out an initial survey."

As bereaved family members lodged strong complaints over the decision, the commission plans to hold an emergency meeting with them on Friday to discuss the issue, he added. (Yonhap)