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Movements by N. Korean subs were tracked before and after sinking of Cheonan


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Intelligence reports used during the investigation into the March attack by a North Korean submarine on a South Korean warship show that North Korean submarines were in the area at the time of the sinking that killed 46 South Korean sailors.


According to intelligence sources North Korea has 20 Romeo-class submarines, 40 Sango-class submarines and 10 “midget” submarines (known as Yeono-class subs) often used for covert operations.


The sources said that intelligence reports revealed that one Sango and one Yeono submarine were detected leaving their bases two to three days before the March 26 attack on the Cheonan.


The submarines also returned to their bases two to three days after the attack.


Additionally, submarines from China and other countries in the region were near their bases or docked in ports at the time of the attacks.


The Cheonan was sunk near a South Korean island in the Yellow Sea near the maritime limit line dividing North and South Korea.


Forensic analysis of the ship and the remnants of the torpedo revealed that the ship was sunk by the use of a high-tech “bubble jet” torpedo that exploded about 40 feet under the ship. The bubble jet used the power of an explosive to create a bubble shock that expanded and contracted and ripped the ship in two at its midsection.


The international investigation has come under fire from critics who have questioned the conclusions of the investigative team that included South Korean, U.S., British, Australian and Swedish experts.


Two U.S. professors with no military experience claimed that the investigation was faulty and suggested that the South Korean government fabricated evidence of North Korean involvement.


In response to the attack, South Korea has resumed psychological operations against the north, conducted an anti-submarine warfare exercise, and will block entry of North Korean vessels into Korean waters.


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