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South Korea on Saturday all but ruled out the chance that North Korea was involved in the sinking of one of its navy vessels near their disputed border.
"Given the investigations by government ministries so far, it is the government's judgment that the incident was not caused by North Korea, although the reason for the accident has not been determined yet," a senior government official was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency
An unidentified reason caused a hole in the ship, which led to its sinking. Rescue efforts are under way," the ministry said.
"The ship fired a warning shot at an unidentified object, and the object was later suspected to have been a flock of birds. But we are checking," it said
The loud firing sound remained for about 15 minutes, while I watched TV. I never heard such loud firing sound in my entire life staying at (the) island, and the sound was definitely different from those heard from usual drills," Yonhap news agency quoted one 56-year-old resident on a nearby island as saying
Relatives of marines missing after a South Korean military ship sank near the disputed sea border with North Korea are protesting over a lack of information about what caused the disaster.
About 150 family members at Pyeongtaek naval base south of Seoul pushed their way past security guards Saturday to confront military officials. Screaming "Liars!" some climbed onto the rescued captain's car as he was driving away.
“There is no possibility whatsoever that the ship sank due to an internal explosion or a collision with a reef. I guarantee that,” a navy lieutenant was quoted as saying by participants in a briefing session organized by the Navy’s Second Fleet Command in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province -- the home port of the ill-fated ship.