|A South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, sinks near South Korea's Baeknyeong Island, close to North Korea, in the western waters on Saturday, March 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
SEOUL, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Friday's Navy ship sinking might be caused by mine explosion, South Korean media YTN quoted Cheong Wa Dae sources as saying on Saturday.
General of the South Korean Navy Lee Ki-shik said later Friday that the 1,200-ton warship Cheonan went down after the unexplained explosion ripped a hole in the ship's bottom.
But both the government and the military authorities said the exact cause of the incident cannot be pinpointed yet.
South Korean officials are narrowing down the possibilities that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is involved in the incident.
Likelihood of the DPRK's involvement in the incident seems low, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday, citing multiple officials at the Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae.
"It is hard to say for sure now, but chances appear to be slim that North (DPRK) was related," a senior official told Yonhap on the condition of anonymity.
There has been no unusual movements by the DPRK so far, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said at a press briefing after President Lee Myung-bak convened a second emergency meeting with security officials earlier Saturday.
Meanwhile, the rescue operation has been stepped up on Saturday. Military divers arrived at the scene of the warship sinking to go underwater to search the sunken vessel. But Yonhap said that they had to delay the operation due to inclement weather.
There were a total of 104 sailors onboard when the ship sank. Fifty-eight have been rescued later Friday, and other 46 crew members still remain missing.
President Lee Myung-bak convened a second emergency meeting with security officials earlier Saturday, demanding for a "quick and thorough" investigation, and rescuing the missing by all means.
Lee also ordered to inform related nations engaged in the six- party talks of proper information about the incident, and urged government agencies to take measures to reassure the public.
Rescue continues in S Korean ship sinking, 46 still missing
SEOUL, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The rescue operation to search for the 46 missing sailors of a South Korean ship that sank late Friday is still under Saturday, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency reported.
So far, 58 out of the 104 crew members aboard the 1,200-ton ship that sank off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula have been rescued, with two of them hospitalized for minor cerebral hemorrhage, the agency said. Earlier reports said 60 sailors have been rescued. Full story
58 crew members of sinking S. Korean navy ship rescued
SEOUL, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Fifty-eight crew members of just- sinking South Korean navy ship were rescued till 00:30 a.m. (1530 GMT Friday), as rescue operation is still underway, according to local media.
A South Korean naval vessel with 104 crew members onboard is sinking into waters off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula late Friday, possibly due to attacks from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), local media reported, citing naval officials. Full story
Chances of DPRK's involvement in warship sinking appear low: Yonhap
SEOUL, March 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korean officials are narrowing down the possibilities that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is involved in a South Korean navy patrol ship sinking, according to local media Saturday.
Likelihood of the DPRK's involvement in the incident seems low, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted multiple officials at the Presidential Office of Cheong Wa Dae as saying. Full story
No sign of DPRK military near ship
BEIJING, Mar. 27 -- There was no sign of military of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the area where a South Korean naval ship sank, Yonhap quoted a presidential official as saying on Saturday.
There had been earlier suggestions that the vessel may have been attacked on Friday night by DPRK near the disputed sea border. Full story
U.S. says no evidence of DPRK link in S Korean warship sinking
WASHINGTON, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department said here Friday that no evidence had been found of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) involvement in the sinking of a South Korean warship earlier in the day.
"Let's not jump to conclusions here," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said when answering a question on a possible DPRK attack. "I'm not aware of any evidence to that effect. But I think the authoritative source here would be the South Korean government." Full story