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North Korea’s ‘Human Torpedoes’: Myth, or Military Threat?

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posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:01 PM

Last month, the South Korean warship Cheonan was ripped in half by an explosion, not far from the disputed maritime boundary with North Korea. The incident claimed the lives of at least 40 crew members, and speculation continues about what, exactly, brought down the ship.

The latest theory: An elite squad of North Korean naval kamikazes, working on direct orders of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il. “‘Human Torpedoes’ are the North’s secret naval weapon,” claims South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo. “A unit of 13 specially trained commandos and modified midget submarines” brought down the ship, writes the U.K. Telegraph.

So what, exactly, is a “human torpedo?” According to a rather breathless account in the Chosun Ilbo, these elite combat swimmers are from North Korea’s 17th Sniper Corps. Quoting the blog (!) of a North Korean poet who defected to South Korea, the paper said Kim’s torpedo units “are treated better than submarine crew and their training centers around suicide bombing attacks.” The paper even doctored up a priceless image — shown here — of a suicide-bomber riding a torpedo to its target.

I don't know about the aritst redeering as I see it being a waste of trained talent. Maybe getting it very close and then guide it in by remote. However, I am sure they got some voluntee(s) to think that riding a tube to a ship to destroy it was a good idea.

Anyway, seems like a test on N. Korea's part. A prelude to something bigger? Maybe with the help of China (see my recent thread about the New and Improved Chinese Navy (currently active on the board):

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:49 AM
During WW2 the Imperial Japanese Navy utilized similar tactics.

So it is entirely possible.

Desperate times call for desperate measures you know?

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:53 AM
reply to post by anon72

It sounds quite plausible if you ask me, even if it does sound far out to some people. keep coming up with these great topics, i enjoy reading them.

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 05:36 AM
reply to post by muzzleflash

Yes, I was going to do a thread on Human Torpedoes and when I saw the extensive use in WWII and the training pics, I figured it was best to stay w/ just the N & S. Korean aspect-for hte current event.

Honestly, very outdated. But, effective-apparently. What is more important in this story--- How did they get close enough to the ship to strike and NO ONE saw or knew anything until too late (all died).

This is where the investigation will lead to. Does NK have some new-special type of device or equipment that is not detectable?

posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 05:59 PM
well at least the torpedo guys get to ride around on some cool mini sub before they explode themselves.

other wise, i could see how a kamikaze torpedo could improve accuracy, and if they miss the first time they can always come around for another try.

if they were really smart they would attach some kind of little get away device like one of those things divers use to get places faster. they could just pull up next to the ship set a 5 sec timer and swim off, or they could go really fast twords the enemy ship and just jump off the torpedo before it hits

posted on May, 27 2010 @ 05:55 PM
Well, at least we wont have to worry about taking sniper fire when we go to war with them.

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