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Did an American Mine Sink South Korean Ship?
New America Media, News Analysis, Posted: May 27, 2010
BEIJING - South Korean Prime Minister Lee Myung-bak has claimed "overwhelming evidence" that a North Korean torpedo sank the corvette Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 sailors. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that there’s "overwhelming evidence" in favor of the theory that North Korea sank the South Korean Navy warship Cheonan. But the articles of proof presented so far by military investigators to an official inquiry board have been scanty and inconsistent. There’s yet another possibility, that a U.S. rising mine sank the Cheonan in a friendly-fire accident.

In the recent U.S.-China strategic talks in Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese side dismissed the official scenario presented by the Americans and their South Korean allies as not credible. This conclusion was based on an independent technical assessment by the Chinese military, according to a Beijing-based military affairs consultant to the People Liberation Army. Hardly any of the relevant facts that counter the official verdict have made headline news in either South Korea or its senior ally, the United States. The first telltale sign of an official smokescreen involves the location of the Choenan sinking - Byeongnyeong Island (pronounced Pyongnang) in the Yellow Sea.
On the westernmost fringe of South Korean territory, the island is dominated by a joint U.S.-Korean base for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The sea channel between Byeongnyeong and the North Korean coast is narrow enough for both sides to be in artillery range of each other. Anti-sub warfare is based on sonar and acoustic detection of underwater craft. Since civilian traffic is-
not routed through the channel, the noiseless conditions are near-perfect for picking up the slightest agitation, for example from a torpedo and any submarine that might fire it. Ever since an American cruiser was damaged by one of Saddam Hussein's rising mines, also known as bottom mines, in the Iraq War, the U.S. Navy has pushed a crash program to develop a new generation of mines. The U.S. Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command has also been focused on developing counterparts to the fearsome Chinese naval "assassin's mace," which is propelled by a rocket engine. A rising mine, which is effective only in shallow waters, rests atop a small platform on the sea floor under a camouflage of sand and gravel. Its detection system uses acoustics and magnetic readings to pick up enemy ships and submarines. When activated, jets of compressed air or solid-fuel rockets lift the bomb, which self-guides toward the magnetic center of the target. The blast rips the keel, splitting the ship or submarine into two neat pieces, just as was done to the RKOS Cheonan. A lateral-fired torpedo, in contrast, "holes" the target's hull, tilting the vessel in the classic war movie manner.  more
"Ruled out a torpedo attack, citing rescued sailors who were manning the radars." South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young 29th March 2010  dailymail.co.uk
USS Liberty torpedo hole 1967

A mine placed by North Korea during the Korean War may also have struck the ship, Mr Kim said. Many of the 3,000 Soviet-made mines North Korea planted during the war were removed, but not all. The defence minister noted that a North Korean mine was discovered as recently as 1984. There are no South Korean mines off the west coast, he added. Mr Kim also ruled out a torpedo attack, citing rescued sailors who were manning the radars. Officials have also said an internal malfunction may be to blame. The 1,200-ton Cheonan is designed to carry weapons, and was involved in a previous skirmish with North Korea. U.S. and South Korea military officials said there was no outward indication that North Korea was involved in the sinking  more