Yoon says sinking of Cheonan warship clearly act of N. Korea
By Joo Kyung-don
SEOUL, Nov. 17 (Yonhap) -- Yoon Seok-youl, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), said Wednesday that the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010 was clearly the act of North Korea.
Yoon made the remarks during a meeting with Choi Won-il, the retired captain of the sunken naval ship Cheonan, and Lee Seong-woo, who represents family members of the fallen soldiers, saying that questioning the scientifically proven investigation outcome comes from a "submissive" attitude toward the North.
"National dignity comes from how the country remembers its history and its people," Yoon said. "It has been scientifically proven that it (the sinking) was due to North Korea's attack."
The warship Cheonan went down near the Northern Limit Line, the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas, on March 26, 2010, killing 46 sailors. After an international probe, the South concluded the sinking was caused by a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine.
But still some people have various conspiracy theories about the sinking, claiming that North Korea had nothing to do with the sinking. Families of deceased crew members and surviving soldiers have recently asked presidential candidates to express their opinions on the sinking and those conspiracy theories.
"I think it is a huge fault to hurt the feeling of Cheonan warship troops and their family members by raising suspicions and reporting them like they have no problems," Yoon said. "Such actions come from submissive attitude toward North Korea."
The former prosecutor general also stressed that the Cheonan sinking is an issue that should not be brought to politics, saying a debate on the warship will damage the country's dignity.
Choi said he does not want to see the country divided on the issue.
"I want to make clear that I am not here to support Yoon," he said. "I just want to say that the public opinion is divided as people who believe the Cheonan warship sinking are considered conservatives and those who do not are seen as progressive, and a candidate should make sure that this kind of situation does not continue so that surviving soldiers and family members can keep their heads up."
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