Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

South Korean Ship Sinking Update

A while back, we discussed the possibility that a North Korean submarine had attacked the South Korean corvette ROKS Cheonan (PCC 772) last month. Now that the ship has been raised, it's looking more and more like it was an external explosion that sank the Cheonan, with more people suspecting that a North Korean mini-sub of the Sang-O class was involved.

How do you think this will turn out? I'm thinking that the South Koreans might not do anything overt, but the North Koreans might find one or two of their submarines failing to return from patrol over the next couple of years. The big question is how the South Korean public reacts to the realization that the ship was sunk by the North, and how patient they'll be with waiting for retaliation.


Blogger ret.cob said...

This why it is imperitive to deny nuclear weapons to regimes like NK and Iran. Not because they will use them, but becuase they might use them and we can never be sure one way or the other. So instead of retaliating overtly to an outright act of war, states like SK are constrained to covert activity, which is a lousy way to run a democracy.

4/26/2010 9:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think one can stumble over some research that seems to indicate that North Korean submariners go thru a "re-birthing" celebration upon their return from patrol.

I can surmise why.

I also believe that a search of the area might lead one to find wreckage of the other half of this event. I doubt this was a two way mission

4/26/2010 10:46 AM

Blogger Scott said...

A quote from one of the articles, and further proof that journalists have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to sub technology:

"Originally, the U.S. and South Korea downplayed suggestions of the North’s involvement, pointing to the fact that the Cheonan did not detect a torpedo, but North Korea does have acoustic torpedoes that can defeat a ship’s radar."

Torpedoes that defeat radar???

4/26/2010 1:02 PM

Anonymous Squidward said...

They are STEALTH torpedos. Duh!

In all seriousness, SK wants to stay out of a shooting war. I suspect they may just take this one and let it go. NK could probably use a war right now to keep things from splitting on the seems when the Dear Leader bites it.

4/26/2010 1:09 PM

Anonymous 3383 said...

@ Scott-

Doesn't everyone have torpedoes that can defeat radar? Most submarines can defeat radar, especially when they engage the undersurface hull gear. :)

Seriously, journalists in general are clueless about everything.

4/26/2010 1:49 PM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

SK will not do anything about it, period. They'll ask the US to look into the matter, and take care of the mess for them.

After all, that's the way of the world - criticize the US of A, but always have your hand in the food pot.

No one is to blame except for the United States.

4/26/2010 1:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing SK did and will do nothing, not becasue they don't want to or can't, but because Obozo has applied pressure on them not to do anything. You know, with an election upcoming and Obozo rambling on about Man Caused Disasters and what not, it might appear to the voting masses that Obozo is quite clueless that there are actually bad guys out and about.

4/26/2010 3:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NK dictator needs shooting-war emotions to keep the people in line and doing whatever he says.

SK is very wise to not be talking smack about a counterattack. We are seeing serious diplomacy (real and "by other means") in action here, folks.

4/26/2010 4:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

SK is very wise to not be talking smack about a counterattack. We are seeing serious diplomacy (real and "by other means") in action here, folks.

"Real diplomacy" after you've lost a ship and 40+ men seems a little Chamberlainesque. Bullies & demented midgets only respond to a kick in the chops.

4/26/2010 8:08 PM

Anonymous xem2 said...

Losing a ship and 40 sailors is bad, but an all-out war with the North would only help the authoritarian regime. Better to publicly declare the sinking an accident, while arranging for a couple of expensive accidents for the North. The South can better afford a slow, low-intensity war of attrition, and the North doesn't get to rally its citizens against the Enemy of the People.

4/26/2010 10:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

xem2: You get it. Some people don't, apparently.

"Diplomacy by other means" is mumblespeak for kicking someone's ass when they deserve it...but don't expect it. THAT is real-world "diplomacy."

Talking smack would only make NK expect it...and give them some fresh, hormone-laden meat to throw to the masses.

4/27/2010 9:07 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

I'm just wondering how the hell any size of modern torpedo can effectively function in water barely 60 feet deep, nevermind the submarine. Call me crazy, call me kooky, but if it were in fact an external detonation, why not a mine? Much simpler and more realistic an explanation than a torpedo (and how it got there...)

4/27/2010 12:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

nhsparky: the SK folk are saying publicly that there was no evidence of a contact mine.

Could a mine have gone off on influence...? Sure...but that's at least just as questionable as a torpedo. It's just a matter of trigonometry to hit a ship like that in shallow water with a's not like it's some huge deal.

4/27/2010 3:28 PM

Anonymous dm said...

My thought is that the South will do nothing about it. The reason why is that Seoul is close enough to be hit by everything that the North has... Seoul will be the first target of the North, should a shooting war commence.

Would you attack if you knew that Washington DC would have everything, including the kitchen sink, landing on it within hours?

Just my $.02.

4/27/2010 3:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I were in charge of South Korea, I would release a statement that says "We believe this to be nothing more than an unfortunate accident. It is our fervent hope that North Korea will react with the same restraint should an unfortunate accident strike one of their ships."

4/27/2010 4:25 PM

Anonymous ChickenLittle said...

You should write statements for a living. Think of the possibilities just in the last week or so... Oil rig blows up and leaks oil all over the Gulf, Greece and Portugal and maybe Spain are about to default, Goldman-Sachs could use a new PR guy, volcanoes in Iceland blowing ass all over Europe (we don't have a base in Iceland anymore so who cares?), but all those airlines with stranded customers all over Europe (in fact, Europe is in a bit of a pickle lately, isn't it?), everybody discovered suddenly that China has a Navy, bombs return to Bahgdad, and everybody on the planet knows we're about to launch an assault on Kandahar (why do we telegraph that shit again?), then there's the pirates in Somalia could use some good PR, I mean, geez, you could make a mint, dude.

4/27/2010 5:23 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

The attack was apparently carried out in shallow waters with what were effectively piloted torpedoes on suicide missions.

4/27/2010 6:30 PM

Blogger ret.cob said...

Suicide missions? I wonder what those guys were promised? Food?

4/27/2010 7:11 PM

Anonymous mark/MM1(ss) said...

Who knows? If you meant food for their families, coulda been...ugh...

4/27/2010 8:16 PM

Anonymous para said...

The suicide torpedo stuff is BS based on nothing but bad rumors and uninformed media. NK may not have a top-notch military, but they are certainly capable of carrying out conventional submarine operations, particularly in those waters.

4/28/2010 3:44 AM

Anonymous NHSparky said...

In 60-70 feet of water? That's a hell of a trick. I don't doubt that a torpedo COULD do that (after all, look what the Japanese did at Pearl, and it's less than 50 feet deep), but getting the submarine close enough to not be noticed? Bit of a trick to that one.

4/29/2010 6:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC News has an interesting picture of what remains of the Cheonan being lifted by a crane.

4/29/2010 12:00 PM

Anonymous idssinfo said...

In my view one and all must glance at this.

6/19/2012 7:32 AM


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