SEOUL: Experts from the United States, Britain, Australia and Sweden have been asked to join the inquiry into the sinking of the Korean Navy corvette Cheonan. The request was made by the South Korean government in an effort to secure objectivity and credibility in the process of verifying the cause of the tragedy, which has left 44 sailors believed dead.
The Korean Navy disaster investigation team currently consists of more than 100 civilian and military experts specializing in explosives, vessels and maritime disasters. It plans to add more civilian members, including family members of the missing sailors. They will be joined by a survey team from the U.S. consisting of eight experts specializing in vessels, naval safety and maritime accidents. The team will be led by a general-level military figure,
The investigation has achieved a notable success in finding the location of some fragments during the salvage operations. If they did not come from the ship, these could offer critical evidence in verifying what caused the explosion. The situation has been complicated by the stricken ship drifting several kilometers from where the incident occurred.
So, the possibility is that the fragments have been dispersed over a wide area of the sea floor. Four minehunters, two patrol ships, four high-speed vessels, one U.S. naval vessel, and a helicopter are currently searching for debris.