[2010/6/15] A letter on sinking of Cheonan to members of the United Nations Security Council


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This letter and the attached document are written in the hope that the Cheonan incident be discussed in a fair and objective process by the United Nation's Security Council.

The people of Korea who long for peace in the Korean peninsula also hope that the Council's discussion of this matter would contribute to peace on the Korean peninsula.

We sincerely hope that this attached document would help your country's grasping of the true story of the Cheonan incident during the United Nations Security Council's discussion.

This letter and the attached document were co-written by the well known peace group in Korea, Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea(SPARK) and NODUTDOL(Young Korean- Americans in New York) New York's Korean youth group.

We are looking forward to increasing peace not only on the Korean peninsula but also on the globe by the council's discussion of this matter.

Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea(SPARK)
NODUTDOL(Young Korean- Americans in New York)




Dear Members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council,

1. South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak administration has determined that the 1300-ton patrol boat Cheonan (PCC-722), which sank in the western sea of Korea on March 26, 2010, was sunk by a torpedo attack from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), and requested, on June 4, a discussion on this matter within the United Nations Security Council.

2. South Korea’s opposition party, civic organizations, and civilian experts, however, continue to raise opposing theories and questions regarding the investigation results of the Lee Myung-bak administration. The Lee Myung-bak administration timed the announcement of its investigation results to influence the recent regional elections in South Korea, and escalated the threat of war. However, the majority of the Korean people came out in support of the opposition party, which called for peace, and clearly expressed its opposition to the confrontational anti-North policies of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

Those who question the Lee Myung-bak administration’s investigation results asserting that with its outdated equipment North Korea was able to permeate South Korean waters during military exercises of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces with its state of the art surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, smash the Cheonan in two, and disappear undetected, evades common sense. They question the reliability of the assertion of a torpedo attack, and point out that had a bubble jet torpedo exploded within three meters of the Cheonan, the Cheonan should have been studded with torpedo fragments, the officers aboard the Cheonan should have been found with exploded eardrums and other internal organs, as well as bone fractures, and masses of dead fish should have been found afloat near the site of the incident, but the investigation found none of these.

South Korean civilian experts assert that grounding, as South Korean military authorities first reported immediately after the incident, was the primary cause of the Cheonan’s sinking. They point to a section of the Cheoan that appears to have been torn off, scratches on the side of the Cheonan, and a screw bent inward on the right side as evidence of grounding.

3. Even the Board of Audit and Inspection, a South Korean government agency, revealed that the South Korean military and the Defense Department engaged in cover-up and fabrication regarding the Cheonan incident. According to the audit findings, to cover up the truth of the incident, the South Korean military hid a thermal observation device (TOD) video that shows the Cheonan’s movements at the time of the incident, the South Korean military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not disseminate alerts about the “emergency situation” at the time of the incident, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was drunk at the time of the incident and abandoned the command and control center. The findings confirmed that the Joint Chiefs of Staff intentionally omitted the Navy Operation Headquarters’ report of hearing an external explosion in its own report to the Defense Minister. It also revealed that the Defense Department had lied about having formed an emergency management team when it actually had not. If the Cheonan had indeed been sunk by an attack from North Korea, as the Lee Myung-bak administration maintains, such actions among South Korea’s top executives are shamefully irresponsible.

4. The western sea of Korea where the Cheonan sank is a highly militarized region where multiple military conflicts have occurred between north and south in the past, and a U.S. nuclear submarine collided with a fishing vessel during joint military exercises with the South Korean military in 2002.

Suspicions that Cheonan also collided with a U.S. submarine are prevalent. On March 26, when the Chonean sank, South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces engaged in a large scale naval exercise, including an anti-sub warfare exercise, near the site of the incident.

U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton timed her visit to Japan with the South Korean government’s announcement of the Cheonan investigation results, and succeeded in getting the Hatoyama administration’s surrender regarding the Funtenma Airport, which had been a contentious issue. The United States is also using the Cheonan incident as an excuse for more South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises and continues to threaten China. Among South Korean people, many convincingly point out that the country that gained the most from this incident is the United States.

5. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, accused of attacking the Cheonan, has completely denied the South Korean government’s assertion and continues to demand that South Korea accept its proposal to dispatch its own inspection team. It has been reported that North Korea has sent a letter to the Chair of the UN Security Council saying that its own National Defense Commission inspection team must be able to confirm South Korea’s investigation results before any discussion about the Cheonan at the UN Security Council.

6. It has been reported that China, the Chair of the Six Party Talks, has emphasized the need for a scientific and objective investigation and has proposed a four-party investigation with the participation of South Korea, North Korea, China, and the United States.

(Tongil News, May 28, 2010 -

7. It has also been reported that Russian experts who visited South Korea to inspect South Korea’s Cheonan investigation results, determined that based on the investigation findings, it is “difficult to confirm that North Korea is responsible.”

(Yonhap News, June 9, 2010 -

8. In this way, relevant parties differ in their opinion on the cause of the Cheonan’s sinking. Accordingly, it goes without saying that should the UN Security Council discuss the Cheonan matter, its first step should be to uncover scientifically and objectively the cause of the incident. Should the UN Security Council, without a scientific and objective basis, adopt a resolution or issue a Chairman’s Statement denouncing North Korea for the widely disputed, sinking of the Cheonan, it will seriously put into question its ability to be fair and evenhanded, rather it will undermine peace on the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world. This contradicts the UN’s basic role and responsibility to work towards global peace.

9. Therefore, we respectfully request the members of the UN Security Council to handle the matter of the Cheonan with fairness and objectivity.

10. The South Korean people firmly oppose any action that leads to or escalates the possibility of a military conflict on the Korean peninsula.

11. The people of the Korean peninsula have lived under constant military tension and threat of conflict in a long-term state of ceasefire and acute military confrontation. The fundamental cause of the sinking of the Cheonan is the sixty-year old armistice on the Korean peninsula, where sea borders are not even clearly delineated, and the unresolved confrontational relation keeps going between North and South Korea. Thus, in order to ensure that another incident like the Cheonan does not recur in the future, and to realize peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, the United States, China, North Korea, and South Korea etc., must conclude a Peace Treaty and resolve the confrontational relations among the parties through international law.

Therefore, we call on the UN Security Council to not only resolve the matter of the Cheonan fairly but also work towards the realization of a Peace Treaty on the Korean peninsula. This will legally ensure peace on the Korean peninsula, as well as contribute to global peace.

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