The Cheonan Incident: Pretext for Threatening North Korea


As relations between the two Koreas worsen, the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan continues to be a significant source of contention. On May 20 of this year, the South Korean-led Military-Civilian Investigation Group (JIG) announced the results of its investigation, charging that a North Korean submarine had torpedoed the vessel. Since then a number of commentators have pointed out numerous flaws in the investigation’s conclusions.

The report itself, however, remained secret, and the world public was expected to take the JIG’s conclusions largely on faith. Unable to dampen down widespread skepticism of the JIG’s conclusions, the South Korean government finally released its report to the public in September. This was not the original report as issued in May. South Korean investigators took into consideration some of the public criticisms and attempted to address them in the final version.