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May 10, 2010

Torpedoe Explosive found in Sunken Ship

POLITICS - Tensions remain high on the Korean Peninsula as South Korea confirmed today that traces of an explosive chemical substance used to make torpedoes were found in the wreckage of a naval ship that sank near the border with North Korea.

On March 26th the 1,200-ton frigate named Cheonan went down in the Yellow Sea after an explosion tore through the outer hull. Fifty-eight sailors survived, but 46 were killed in the explosion or drowned soon after.

The chemical found is RDX, research department explosive, and is a powerful high explosive often mixed with other explosives such as TNT or TORPEX, and has been widely used since World War II by all countries for military and industrial purposes. Its also used for making land mines.

North Korea has so far denied involvement. It would not be the first time North Korea has made an unprovoked attack on the South Korean military.

The two Koreas remain locked in a state of cold war because their three-year conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953.

In 1967 North Korean artillery sank a South Korean ship, killing 39 sailors and their navies have fought three more bloody skirmishes off the west coast since 1999.

North Korea is suspected in a 1983 bombing in Burma that narrowly missed killing then-South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan but left 21 others dead.

The 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed 115 people on board is also believed to have been planned by North Korea.

North Korea currently has nuclear weapons reaching as far as Hawaii and is working towards expanding their missile technology

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