COMMENTS ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE JOINT CIVILIAN-MILITARY INVESTIGATION GROUP’S CONCLUSION
“Nothing is covered up that will not become known” Luke 12:2
We, PROK, who have been praying for democracy, peace, and life of Korean society, raise some points responding to the JIG’s announcement of the conclusion of its investigation that says South Korean Navy ship Cheonan sank by a North Korean submarine attack with a heavy torpedo.
First of all, we point out that JIG’s investigation cannot be fair and objective from the beginning. The Ministry of National Defense and the military, which are the most responsible for the incident took control over the whole investigation. They also made a hasty announcement to meet the first day of the campaign for the coming election on June 2, which left suspicions about the background. If there is any intention to take advantage of 46 young sailors’ deaths for any political purpose, it will kill them again.
JIG’s announcement did not explain anything but left so many questions among Korean people. Now we are asking the following questions.
1. We cannot understand why the crucial moment of sinking is missing from the footage (TOD). The JIG must also release the records of radio messages exchanged and Cheonan’s CCTV recordings.
2. If Cheonan had sunk due to a shockwave and bubble effect by an underwater torpedo explosion, there must be any eyewitness of the giant water pillar. Moreover, most survivors are not suffering from torn eardrums, intestinal damages, fractures, or lacerations which are the general symptoms of torpedo explosion.
3. There were 13 Korean and US up-to-date ships at the West Sea near the scene. They were conducting a joint military drill at that time. Among those 13 ships are Cheonan, a warship to detect and fight with the submarines, torpedoes, airplanes, and missiles, and another warship Aegis specialized in dealing with submarines. Why couldn’t any of the super modern ships detect the attack of the North Korean submarines or torpedo?
4. Why was late petty officer Han Joo-ho searching the third location, not the bow or the stern where the sailors were? Why did the American ambassador and the commander of American Army in Korea attend the memorial service for him to express condolences and pay comport money to his family? The JIG must give a clear explanation to the wide spread suspicions of probable clash between the US and Korean ships or mistaken firing between the two.
5. Why have the survivors been strictly separated and controlled since the tragedy happened? Why are they not allowed to say anything about it, though they know the truth best?
According to JIG’s announcement, a North Korean submarine attacked Cheonan with a heavy torpedo and escaped without being detected at all. It means President Lee who is in charge of national security should take full responsibility for what happened and apologize to Korean people. The minister of defense, the joint chief of staff, and the naval chief of staff should do the same thing.
JIG’s announcement did not answer any of the questions but left more suspicions. Now is the time for the Korean leaders to stop shifting responsibilities but taking them. They have to organize a new investigation group including civilian experts and opposition parties to find the whole truth answering all the questions above.
Once again we express our deepest condolences to the families of the late sailors as we promise to do our best to reveal the truth and take the follow-up measures.
May 20, 2010
Rev. Kwon Young-Joung
Peace and Reunification Committee
Rev. Jeon Byung-Saeng
Church and Society Committee
The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea