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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Defense Ministry to report on Cheonan sinking in July

RIA Novosti

15:37 09/06/2010 MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry will release a report on the sinking of a South Korean vessel in July, a senior defense official said on Wednesday.

The head of the Federation Council's committee on defense and security, Viktor Ozerov, made the statement after a meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

"We discussed North Korea. The minister said that our experts had already returned from South Korea with samples from the sunken ship as well as parts of the explosive device," Ozerov said.

"He also said that it would take about a month to examine them and come to a conclusion," he added.

A group of Russian Navy experts left Seoul on Monday after assessing an international investigation that found North Korea responsible for the sinking of the South Korean warship in late March.

The 1,200-ton Cheonan warship sank near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives.

Although initial comments from South Korean naval and intelligence chiefs ruled out foul play, after an investigation involving U.S. and South Korean experts Seoul accused North Korea of firing a torpedo from a submarine at the vessel.

Pyongyang has denied the allegations and claims the incident was "orchestrated" by the United States in order to "hype the threat from North Korea" ahead of "Congress mid-term elections slated for the coming November."



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