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In March of this year the South Korean warship Cheonan was attacked and sunk along a disputed North/South maritime border, of it's 104 crew, 46 perished.
An investigation was carried out by SK, the US, the UK, Sweden, Australia and Canada and its conclusion was published last week. Having raised the warship's wreck and scoured the ocean floor around the site of its destruction they found the remains of a CHT-02D torpedo of North Korean design. Furthermore, intelligence reports indicate that two NK submarines had departed a naval base three days prior to the attack.
From this the team concluded that North Korean naval forces had been responsible for the Cheonan's destruction.
This comes at an interesting time, Kim Jong Il has recently been to China looking for goodies to bolster his cash strapped regime. Bejing is probably the only government that can rein Kim in without the threat of war being thrown around.
South Korea has announced the following measures in response:
* Stopping inter-Korean trade
* Banning North Korean ships from using South Korean waterways or shortcuts
* Resuming "psychological warfare"
* Referring the case to the UN Security Council
The US Navy is now sending ships to the Korean peninsula to run more joint exercises with SK, focusing on submarine detection.
So, considering that they've now actually been caught red handed having murdered nearly four dozen people, will this escalate past mere sabre rattling?