North Korea has dismissed the findings of a report which say it sank a South Korean warship as “fabrication”, and has threatened war if sanctions are imposed.
When raised from the seabed in April, the shattered wreckage of the “Cheonan” appeared to show the impact of an explosion.
Seoul has accused the North of sinking the corvette in March, with the loss of 46 personnel, and promised swift retaliation:
“The government is resolutely determined to follow this up with strong measures.” said a spokesperson.
International condemnation has been swift, with the exception of China, Pyongyang’s only major backer. A government spokesman in Beijing urged both sides to stay calm:
“China agrees that there should be a scientific and objective investigation into the incident. We urge both sides to remain calm and exercise restraint, and resolve the issure properly without further escalating the situation.”
International investigators examined the damaged wreckage, evidence from the seabed and survivors’ injuries.
They concluded that a torpedo from a North Korean submarine was the only plausible cause.
North Korea’s state-run television channel said: “The National Defence Commission will send its own inspection group to verify the evidence.
South Korea has previously suggested the attack was in retaliation for a naval skirmish between the two countries late last year.