South Korean Ship Sunk; Several Sailors Killed; Fire Returned; Birds Suspected (Updated)

CBC News Network has video:

South Korean officials are investigating whether an explosion on the Cheonan was struck by a torpedo.
FOX News reported:

The South Korean navy has reportedly fired shots at unidentified ships in the direction of North Korea as it investigates whether a sinking vessel in its fleet was struck by a torpedo Friday.

Military officials said the 1,200-ton ship Cheonan was patrolling in waters south of the maritime border with North Korea when an explosion occurred at the stern of the ship, which carries a crew of 104 sailors, KBS World Radio reported.

South Korean broadcaster SBS said many of the sailors were feared dead, as the country’s president, Lee Myung-Bak, called an emergency meeting of security-related ministers.

Twenty-four sailors have been rescued from the vessel, officials told the Korea Herald, and navy ships and helicopters continue to circle in an attempt to save more crew members, KBS World Radio reported.

There was no word on the cause of the explosion or any casualties, but officials did not rule out the possibility of an attack from North Korea.

The ship was sunk near Baekryeong Island off the west coast Friday night, according to Navy officials.


One Free Korea is following the story.

UPDATE: Reuters is now saying that a flock of birds may have been involved(?)

A defense ministry official later said that the unidentified object the vessel had fired at on Friday night near the western sea border that divides the two Koreas may well have been a flock of birds.

Initial fears that North Korea might be to blame caused ripples on Wall Street, where share prices dipped partly on geopolitical concerns, and the South Korean won dropped against the dollar.

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