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US, SKorea to jointly probe ship sinking

 Gen. Walter Sharp, top U.S. military commander in Korea, speaks during a luncheon meeting with U.S. businessmen in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April...
 Gen. Walter Sharp, top U.S. military commander in Korea, speaks during a luncheon meeting with U.S. businessmen in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April...

South Korea US Ship Sinks

Gen. Walter Sharp, top U.S. military commander in Korea, speaks during a luncheon meeting with U.S. businessmen in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April...

South Korea US Ship Sinks

Gen. Walter Sharp, top U.S. military commander in Korea, speaks during a luncheon meeting with U.S. businessmen in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April...

A top American military officer said Tuesday he was confident that a joint probe by South Korea and the U.S. would solve the mystery of an explosion that sank a South Korean warship 11 days ago.
The 1,200-ton Cheonan exploded March 26 and sank a few hours later during a routine patrol near the tense western border with North Korea. Fifty-eight crew members were rescued soon after but dozens of other sailors remain unaccounted for and are believed trapped in the wreckage. No survivors have been found among the 46 sailors initially listed as missing, but divers found the body of one crewman Saturday.
No cause has been determined. South Korean officials have said they will look at all possibilities including that the ship might have been struck by a floating mine or a torpedo from North Korea.
The U.S. has promised to send a team of naval disaster experts to help find the cause.
"I'm confident that we will find out" the cause, Gen. Walter Sharp, chief of the 28,500 American troops in South Korea, said at a meeting with U.S. businesses in South Korea, where he gave a speech Tuesday and then took questions. "We want to get to the right answer, the correct answer and we don't want to rush to that conclusion."
Sharp refused to speculate on the cause of the blast.
"I'm not gonna speculate on this because again, the experts haven't started looking at it," he said.
The U.S. and South Korea "watch North Korea very closely every single day of the year and we continue to do that right now," he said. "And again, as this has been said, we see no unusual activity at this time."
Earlier this week, South Korea started work to salvage the ship after ending its underwater hunt for the missing sailors at the request of their families, who raised concerns about additional casualties among divers.
One military diver died during a search while a South Korean fishing boat that participated disappeared. Two aboard that vessel died and seven others were left missing.


Updated : 2021-07-30 03:28 GMT+08:00