Activists in Seoul claim that a North Korean Army officer has testified that the North Korean military attacked the Cheonan before it sank in the West Sea on March 26.
Activist Choi Sung-yong of the Family Assembly Abducted to North Korea said, "It seems that the Cheonan was sunk in a premeditated North Korean operation." Choi published a transcript of a telephone conversation with what he says is a senior North Korean Army officer.
The officer claims the motive was revenge. "After the North lost the sea skirmish in November last year, Kim Jong-il gave an order to take revenge. He gave the order."
"Some of the 13 commandos who … sank the Cheonan are acquaintances of mine," the alleged officer claims according to the transcript. He claims the Cheonan's sinking lifted soldiers' morale and the 13 commandos "are being treated as heroes."
"They apparently spent a lot of time practicing camouflage by sneaking around fleet of North Korean and Chinese fishing boats operating near Baeknyeong Island," the officer says. "It seems likely that a bigger event will occur in the future given that they are operating also in the East Sea, camouflaging themselves there."
The South Korean military has asked the U.S. for intelligence about North Korean submarines and espionage operations to establish whether the North was involved in the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan on March 26, according to a source on Monday. A source said, "South Korean and U.S. intelligence agencies are trying to check what the North Korean Army was doing, including what communications they exchanged and what their submarines or submersibles were doing around the time of the disaster."