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Subject: ROKN Patrol Corvette sucken by DPRK torpedo boat
YelliChink    3/26/2010 12:10:07 PM
Just happened 2150 Korean local time. Chinese reports say that it was DPRK torpedo boat. The ROKN corvette sunk is probably a 1200t PCC. I can't read Korean so I am not sure which one exactly. At this moment, 59 out of 104 crew have been saved so far. Best wishes to the still missing ones and condolence to families of lost sailors.
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YelliChink       3/31/2010 1:47:07 AM

Only thing I can't figure out, why wouldn't an inbound torpedo be detected by a vessel optimised for ASW roles?

Same reason why INS Hanit, though packed with latest electronics systems, still managed to be hit by a C802. 2130 is usually the time when half of the crew is going to bed, while half the screw are thinking they're doing this sh*tty night shift. This is second best time to strike next to 0500.
I don't agree that Po Hang class of ASW type are "optimized" for anti-sub warfare. The class of ship is designed as patrol corvette and maximized for the surface skirmishes. They can redesign the stern to incorporate towed array sonar, or redesign the bow to install large hull-mounted sonar. They didn't do any of those. Instead, they put a relative small hull-mounted sonar. That actually makes sense considering the waters they patrol and enemy forces present.

Meanwhile, ROK military is still on orange alert status, and same as ROC military.
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jhpigott       3/31/2010 9:20:33 AM
long time lurker, first time poster -
While we may be no closer to a ROK announcement of an official cause, there is certainly a big change of tune from this past weekend when SK officials all but ruled out NK involvement . . .
S.K. Gov't officials ordered to stay on alert to cope with naval disaster ^

(LEAD) Gov't officials ordered to stay on alert to cope with naval disaster

By Shim Sun-ah SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- All government officials have been ordered to remain on emergency footing and refrain from furloughs and nonessential activities until the crisis arising from last week's sinking of a Navy patrol ship in the western sea border with North Korea is overcome, the home ministry said Wednesday.

Civil servants have also been instructed to stay on alert even during off-duty hours in preparation for emergencies related to the unprecedented naval disaster, said the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

Following the sinking of the corvette Cheonan in the Yellow Sea on Friday night, all ranking government officials, including military troops and police, have already been put on emergency standby in preparation for any unexpected moves from the North.

Provincial and municipal governments have also been asked to refrain from hosting unnecessary cultural events and festivals, the ministry said.

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jhpigott       3/31/2010 11:29:16 AM
seems to me that the SK military is trying to play up the possibility of NK involvement, but the politicians are trying to down play it
SK President Cheong Wa Dae dismisses N. Korean sub movements near sunken ship ^

SEOUL, March 31 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae Wednesday dismissed allegations of North Korean submarine movements in waters where a South Korean navy ship sank after an unexplained explosion last Friday.

Local media raised the possibility of North Korean involvement in the sinking of the 1,200-ton Cheonan, saying that four North Korean submarines left their base in Ongjin County before the sinking, while only two submarines returned to the base after the sinking and the whereabouts of the other two subs were unknown.

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Hamilcar    In that same vein.....   3/31/2010 11:52:46 AM
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Top brass ordered the Sokcho to fire
Image on the ship?s radar was first considered ?relevant to the sinking?
April 01, 2010" alt="" />

Marines yesterday prepare for a search and rescue operation for missing personnel from the naval ship Cheonan on Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea even though poor weather conditions suspended the rescue mission. By Kim Tae-seong

The South Korean Navy fired northward on the night of the Cheonan?s sinking at the order of the upper military chain of command, with orders to destroy a perceived threat on radar, a senior military official told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.

The 1,200-ton patrol combat corvette Sokcho shot at an unidentified object after the Cheonan sank on Friday night near
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jhpigott       3/31/2010 3:26:22 PM
A few items for you guys to chew on -
few island inhabitants are convinced of the mine theory. They say there has been no previous mine explosion there, even though as many as 200 boats a day pass through the area during fishing season.
Another problem is that the military offered no convincing explanation as to why the ill-fated ship moved into the shallow waters near the island, where the currents are dangerously fast. Island residents were quoted as saying that they had never seen such a large patrol ship come so close.
It remains a mystery what the Cheonan and Sokcho were doing near the northernmost island of Baengnyeong as it is rare for two navy corvettes to move together. A corvette is usually accompanied by two high-speed boats.
The Cheonan sank 1.8 kilometers southwest of Baengnyeong, but a corvette normally does not maneuver so close to the coast.
But one of the missing sailors told his father on the phone at 9:16 p.m. that he had to hang up as there was an emergency situation, according to Rep. Lee Jong-gull of the Democratic Party.
Another sailor was reportedly exchanging text messages with his girlfriend for about half an hour until 9:16 a.m. when he abruptly stopped replying. The girlfriend called but he didn't answer the phone.
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Hamilcar    I wish I had new insights, but I don't read Japanese or Korean at all.   3/31/2010 7:51:35 PM
The English, French, and  German news just catch up to what we already read here.
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Carl D.       3/31/2010 8:00:18 PM
Unless you actively look for information on this incident, there is effectively a news blackout in the U.S. main stream media on this, except for some talk radio and on and off on Fox News...if this situation suddenly pops it is going to come as a real shock to a lot of people.
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VelocityVector    I Wouldn't Refer To It As A News "Blackout"   3/31/2010 8:31:34 PM

The South has no motivation to 'fess up with what it believes given the evidence.  You cannot realistically counter the South's desire to quiet the situation asap.  Full-scale hostilities lose the South more than the NorKs.  The true beneficiaries here are the Iranians.  Expect the final report and investigation to remain open-ended.  Sidescan sonar should at least divulge torpedo motor and prop unit.  If looked at and disclosed.  You won't hear about it though.  I just hope the sunk skipper doesn't get sacrificed here.  You might anticipate that he would have been on the watch if action was perceived to be imminent.  It wasn't so apparently.  Now the Iranian regime will feel emboldened.  0.02


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Reactive       3/31/2010 9:04:27 PM
I hope that there is no "open" ending to this, it is a prime opportunity and opening to avoid a third cycle of "Kim?" leadership, weakness in response to this will lead to hardliners in the south taking control, it depends on whether South Korea is going to let this pass, if you show weakness to a regime like NK it will only embolden and reaffirm the status-quo, you say that South Korea has more to lose, I respectfully disagree, North Korea, and its entire regime would face almost inevitable collapse in any conflict with the south, no more "Kim" hegemony, they are weak, this action, if percieved correctly is an indication of that, the support of the US is crucial, and there are times where I do wonder whether B.O is giving the assurances he should.
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VelocityVector    Reactive   3/31/2010 9:27:51 PM

During the Cold War, both the Western and Sov sides committed acts of war.  Frequently, and despite nuclear armaments.  Some we may have heard about and others we most surely did not.  The fact that the submarines of both sides returned to port with the other guy's paint on them may compare objectively favorably with the Korean incident recently.  (one of the corporate officers of a client claims to have been the in-charge prop off during a notorious collision and I believe him as well as his very sketchy story after cocktails given his corporate vetting, which I reviewed under my particular permissions.)  Then of course there were the "undeclared" conflicts such as Korea, Cuba and Vietnam with many thousands or more killed ... I truly feel sorry for the sailors and their families here ... but don't dare hold your breath waiting for unity of conclusion.  Definitely not on SP ;>) 0.02


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