- Title: SOUTH KOREA: Seoul says underwater mine from North Korea may have sunk ship
- Date: 30th March 2010
- Summary: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (MARCH 29, 2010) (REUTERS) **FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY** SOUTH KOREAN PARLIAMENT MEETING ON SUNKEN NAVAL SHIP HEAD OF MEETING OPENING SESSION SOUTH KOREAN DEFENCE MINISTER KIM TAE-YOUNG SPEAKING (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN DEFENCE MINISTER KIM TAE-YOUNG SAYING "It's possible that these underwater mines could flow into our waters." MILITARY OFFICIALS STILL PHOTO SHOWING DARK UNDERWATER PHOTOS (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN DEFENCE MINISTER KIM TAE-YOUNG SAYING "There are several possibilities such as an underwater mine or a torpedo. We're open to everything in our investigation of the accident." OFFICIALS SEATED PEOPLE AT RALLY URGING ALL-OUT RESCUE OPERATION PROTESTERS HOLDING SOUTH KOREAN NATIONAL FLAG PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING IN KOREAN "SAFE RETURN" MEN CARRYING FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) 82-YEAR-OLD LEE CHIL-SUNG SAYING "As I watched the relatives crying for the last two days, I cried along with them. I have a grandson in the army." PROTESTER SPEAKING AT RALLY POLICE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS CHANTING
- Embargoed: 14th April 2010 13:00
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6OPKUHBVXUD0G2JD9OC3B1LDR
- Story Text: South Korea's Defence Minister said on Monday (March 29) there was a possibility the sunken ship was attacked by a North Korean underwater mine which was transported to South Korean waters.
The search for dozens of missing South Korean sailors continued on Monday, with authorities still figuring out what caused a likely explosion that sank a ship near a disputed sea border with the North.
The country's defence ministry said the rescue team late on Sunday (March 28) succeeded in placing a buoy on the surface of the water, where part of the sunken Navy vessel could be located. Rescuers are hoping missing crew members are not far.
Nearly half of the 104 crew members of the South's surveillance ship remained missing after the vessel snapped into two and sank Friday night (March 26).
"It's possible that these underwater mines could flow into our waters," said Defence Minister Kim Tae-young at Seoul's National Assembly.
Early reports that the North may have been involved spooked markets but were later played down when Seoul said it was almost certain Pyongyang had no part in the incident.
"There are several possibilities such as an underwater mine or a torpedo. We're open to everything in our investigation of the accident," Kim added.
A group of conservatives held a rally in Seoul, calling for the safe return of the missing sailors.
Around 40 protesters gathered in downtown Seoul to show their support for the sailors' families and to call on the government for an all-out rescue operation.
"As I watched the relatives crying for the last two days, I cried along with them. I have a grandson in the army," said 82-year-old Lee Chil-sung.
The defence ministry has mobilized an underwater mine-hunter ship and various other rescue ships, and pledged to find remaining survivors.
The site where the ship sank was the scene of two deadly naval fights between the rival Koreas in the past decade.
North Korea has made no mention of the ship-sinking incident in its official media.
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