London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Perceptions on the Cheonan incident


Totally stunned at the South Koreans who don't believe that the North sunk the Cheonan. #

  • Darren: Are they convinced it was an inside job?
  • Philip: I was too busy rubbing my chin – bruised from hitting the floor so hard – that I wasn’t really focusing. And to be honest they weren’t making much sense anyway. But the general gist is that Kwangju proved the government aren’t above killing their own citizens…
    All I can say is, them NORKs are doing a really good job spreading urban myth and misinformation…
  • Aashish: There’s quite a lot who think it’s an inside job. I think this speaks of the deep distrust towards Lee Myung-bak more than anything else.
  • Jiyoung: Philip, I don’t think you really get the gist. A great number of SKs don’t give credit for the unprofessional investigation process and inconsistent evidence provided by the SK army and the MB administration, which leads to this worrisome doubt on the MB government’s rushed conclusion that it was done by the North. This doesn’t mean that many SKs think it was an inside job, either. There maybe some. Many SKs thought it was a terrible incident during the joint SK-US military exercise which was happening at that time. You should know more before you say something like this. Watch the SK army’s first press conference and see what they’re suggesting as the critical evidence. Watch “No. 1” marker-pen written on the torpedo in Korean which survived after more than a month, for example–that’s a joke. The investigation team was completely inconsistent giving its evidence (“this is the evidence/oh, sorry this wasn’t/there is no such thing/oh, sorry, yes there was, but we can’t share that with you). There was no clear role what the international investigation team did. We don’t even know who they were. MB decided not to share the final report with his fellow Koreans in Korean. After all these, I wish I could trust my government, but I can’t be convinced. Can you? I’m stunned if you are.
  • Aashish: I must say that some of the evidence that was given did seem a little suspect to me. I understand what everyones saying though. Governments in Asia are very hard to trust and I dont think that’s too controversial to say. I wouldn’t trust the Indian government with baby sitting my pet hamster. Koreans may feel the same about their government, which given incidents like Gwangju isn’t hard to understand.
  • Philip: Jiyoung, I was really surprised at the emotion that the subject elicited, and if I’d had more energy I would have joined in the conversation more. But I was so stunned, on top of being tired, that I couldn’t really focus. If I remember right the same person who thought the SKs sunk the Cheonan was also prepared to believe that the South Korean government blew up its own airliner in 1987.
    I too was not wholly convinced by the presentation of the evidence, but I am convinced the North did it. I am also persuaded by the unequivocal statements made by the UK ambassador in Seoul and by an authoritative Swedish source – both countries provided experts to the investigation team and were keen that there were the highest standards of evidence. For the sceptics, the endorsement provided by Sweden, a neutral country with plenty of experience having to deal with unauthorised submarine incursion in its territorial waters, should carry extra weight.
    I don’t believe everything my government tells me, but I do believe the combined statements of the different countries involved in the investigation process. And I also believe the statements of well-placed people citing evidence confirming that the North Koreans spread stories in South Korean chatrooms. Indeed, it would be incredible if the North were NOT doing such things.

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