"S. Korea's Cheonan sunk by Israelis" just got more likely...


In a report from Reuters:

The metallic debris and chemical residue appear to be consistent with a type of torpedo made in Germany, indicating the North may have been trying to disguise its involvement by avoiding arms made by allies China and Russia, Yonhap quoted the official as saying.

corroborated by

Cheonan probe finds RDX, alloy used in torpedoes

Experts investigating the sinking of the Cheonan have identified traces of an explosive in the ship’s wreckage and fragments of an alloy used in torpedoes.

According to a government official in Seoul, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity, the joint military and civilian investigation team has found traces of RDX, one of the most powerful military explosives.

“RDX is used in torpedoes, not sea mines,” the official said. “The traces were found in the Cheonan’s chimney and the damaged side of the stern.”

According to the official, investigators also found three to four pieces of metal near the site of the wreck, and analysis showed the fragments were an alloy of aluminum and magnesium, which is used in torpedo casings.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the alloy was made in Germany, China or Russia.

“It’s possible that North Korea may have used a German torpedo to disguise its attack, knowing that South Korea uses German torpedoes,” the official said.

In light of this finding, South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young will meet with U.S. Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the U.S. Combined Forces Command in Seoul, Monday to discuss their next steps in the ongoing probe.

North Korea has been suspected in the case, though it has denied any responsibility. The latest finding and further analysis could prove such suspicions.

“If this was a torpedo attack, who else could we point to other than North Korea?” said a defense ministry official. “Minister Kim and Gen. Sharp will exchange opinions on what to do in case North Korea is found responsible for the torpedo attack. I understand Gen. Sharp has been kept posted on the probe by the American investigators here.”

In a related development, Kim Hong-kyun, director of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s bureau of the peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and Joseph Donovan, U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, met yesterday in Seoul. Their meeting was largely focused on the handling of the Cheonan case, a ministry official said.

The 1,200-ton Navy corvette was split in half and sank off the West Coast on March 26. Forty sailors were found dead and six others are missing and have been presumed dead. The ship’s bow and stern were recovered last month.

Investigators had previously concluded that a non-contact external blast caused the destruction. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said a torpedo attack was the likely cause.

The investigation is being done by a team of military and civilian experts from South Korea, the United States, Australia, Britain and Sweden. The South Korean government recruited outside help as President Lee Myung-bak wanted a transparent and objective probe.

Won Tae-jae, defense ministry spokesman, said the South is considering inviting experts from China and Russia, the two countries close to North Korea, to offer them a firsthand look at the Cheonan.

Military officials had earlier said the conclusion of the investigation would be made around May 20. But the official said yesterday an announcement could be made even earlier.

Hmmm. Oh -- some pics --

makes the following more likely, no?

South Korean Corvette Sunk By Israeli Dolphin Class Submarine

During the recent skirmish between North and South Korea, the South Korean Corvette was sunk, as it has been revealed by a torpedo.

Consider the South Korean ship's specifications:

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

Speed: Maximum 32 knots (59 km/h)

Cruising 15 knots (28 km/h)[2]

Armament: 4 × Harpoon missiles,

2 × OTO Melara(76mm)/62 compact cannons

2 × Breda 40mm/70 cannons,

6 × Mark 46 torpedoes,

12 × Mark 9 depth charges [3][2]

This was a fast ship, and in combat would presumably be:

moving at full speed,

and maneuvering to avoid enemy fire AND possible torpedos.

The Cheonan was sunk by a torpedo.

Consider that the North Korean ship could not have been the source of the torpedo.

The North Korean Captain would have to calculate where the Cheosan would be at the precise moment the torpedos hit.

The Cheosan was capable of almost 60 km/hr, and maneuverable.

Unless the South Korean Captain was suicidal, a torpedo hit from several thousand yards off would be the wildest stroke of luck.

A submarine had to be BETWEEN the fighting ships.

It was close enough to fire the tropedo, have it arm and strike the Cheosan.

Israel operates the Dolphin Class submarine, reparation gifts to Israel from Germany (for the Holocaust).

They fire 2 types of torpedos:

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

Armament: 6 × 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes,

4 x 25.5 inch (650 mm) diameter torpedo tubes

The Israelis are based out of Cam Ranh Bay Vietnam. They are there to train Vietnamese crews who are purchasing 6 Soviet submarines.

The Vietnamese use Communist equipment.

Here are the types used and available for sale from China:

[link to en.wikipedia.org]

324mm Yu-7 · ET-52

350mm APR-3E

450mm Yu-2

533mm Yu-8 · Yu-6 · C43 · Yu-5 · Yu-4 · Yu-3 · Yu-1 · ET32 · ET34 · ET36 · Type 53-65 · VA-111 Shkval

650mm Type 65

Rocket-propelled CY-1 · CY-2 · CY-3 · CJ-1

Note that they also use the same diameter of torpedo as the Israeli Dolphin Class.

So theoretically, the Dolphin Class can fire Chinese torpedos.

North Korea also uses Chinese Torpedos.

Israel has recently accused North Korea of giving Syria WMD's.

and from the comments at What Really Happened:

I first conjectured several days ago that it was an Israeli sub that sank this ship when I read that Israel was pissed at North Korea for selling weapons to several Middle East countries. This guess was reinforced when I also read that Israel already had subs as close as Vietnam, where they are training Vietnamese submariners.

In keeping with Israel's war fighting doctrine of getting someone else to do the fighting, it makes perfect sense for Israel to use a false-flag attack on South Korea to get the US and South Korea to attack North Korea. There is no way for Israel to attack North Korea directly, and difficult for Israel to hurt NK financially, so they resort to dirty tricks.

The other very credible possibility is the one that was put forth the other day at Asia Times giving the North Korean perspective on this: The sinking took place during joint night-time manuevers between the South Korean Navy and the US Navy, something that I didn't know until I read it in the Asia Times. Why would this important detail be missing from Western reporting?

North Korea believes that this was a garden-variety friendly fire incident, and the US and SK are just trying to cover their embarassment and spin this into an attack from NK. The Asia Times article also points out that it would be next to impossible for a crude NK submarine to sneak into SK waters and get into a firing position (at night!) with several of the US's most sophisticated Aegis-class cruisers, who definitely would have had their sonarmen on duty, taking part in the exercise

Be seeing you.

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