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Did An American Mine Sink South Korean Ship? (3)

30 May 2010
 

The initial South Korean review stated that the explosive was gunpowder, which would conform to North Korea's crude munitions. This claim was later overturned by the inquiry board, which found the chemical residues to be similar to German advanced explosives. Due to sanctions against Pyongyang and its few allies, it is hardly credible that North Korea could obtain NATO-grade ordnance.

一开始南朝鲜宣称爆炸物是火药,这倒也符合北朝鲜比较落后的武器装备状况。但后来南朝鲜又改口说,经过调查,他们发现了与德制先进的爆炸物相似的化学残迹。鉴于北约对平壤的制裁现实,实在很难让人相信北朝鲜会有能力搞到北约的战略物资。

Thus, the mystery centers on the USNS Salvor, which happened to be yet right near Byeongyang Island at the time of the Cheonan sinking and far from its home base, Pearl Harbor. The inquiry board in Seoul has not questioned the officers and divers of the Salvor, which oddly is not under the command of the 7th Fleet but controlled by the innocuous-sounding Military Sealift Command. Diving-support ships like the Salvor are closely connected with the Office of Naval Intelligence since their duties include secret operations such as retrieving weapons from sunken foreign ships, scouting harbor channels and laying mines, as when the Salvor trained Royal Thai Marine divers in mine-laying in the Gulf of Thailand in 2006, for example.

The Salvor's presence points to an inadvertent release of a rising mine, perhaps because its activation system was not switched off. A human error or technical glitch is very much within the realm of possibility due to the swift current and strong tides that race through the Byeongnyeong Channel. The arduous task of mooring the launch platforms to the sea floor allows the divers precious little time for double-checking the electronic systems.

那么疑点就只能落到美国海军打捞船上了,当时该船正远离自己的老家珍珠港而神秘地在天安号沉没的平南岛附近出没。奇怪的是,调查组并没有提问打捞船上的军官或驾驶,打捞船也奇怪的不属于第七舰队的管辖,而属于听起来似乎无关痛痒的海军运输队。由于带有潜水员的打捞船通常负有秘密的特殊任务,比如收集敌方沉舰上的武器、察探港湾通道情况及埋置水雷等,它们与海军情报部的关系非常密切。

打捞船或许因忘了关掉启动开关而不小心激活了一枚上浮水雷。由于平南岛周围水域水流湍急、潮汐巨大,人为事故或技术故障发生的可能性非常高。在那样的条件下固定水雷发射台是极其不容易的,潜水员常常没有足够的时间来重复检查电力系统。

If indeed it was an American rising mine that sank the Cheonan, it would constitute a friendly-fire accident. That in itself is not grounds for a criminal investigation against the presidential office and, at worst, amounts only to negligence by the military. However, any attempt to falsify evidence and engage in a media cover-up for political purposes constitutes tampering, fraud, perjury and possibly treason.

如果天安号果然是被美国的上浮水雷炸毁的,这属于友军间擦枪走火, 事故本身不足以让奥巴马总统府受到刑事调查,最多军方会被控以疏忽罪。但是,为了政治目的做假证、利用媒体造谣就属于犯了蔑视宪法罪、欺诈罪、伪证罪甚至于叛国罪。

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