Korean ship with 100 on board sinks after 'torpedo attack by North Korea'

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 3:03 PM on 26th March 2010

A South Korean naval ship with more than 100 on board was sinking after a suspected torpedo attack by North Korea today.

The South Korean navy has shot at an unidentified ship in the direction of North Korea in apparent retaliation.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said that it is not clear what caused the ship to sink.

A rescue operation is under way to save crew members on board but many sailors were feared dead on the stricken ship.

A South Korean naval coast defence ship patrols on the country's northern coast (file picture). At least 100 sailors are feared dead following a suspected torpedo attack

The dramatic escalation between the two countries comes after North Korea has warned that it was bolstering its defences in response to joint South Korean-U.S. military drills that were held this month.
North Korea had already threatened 'unprecedented nuclear strikes' against its southern neighbour and the U.S over claims they are planning to topple the communist regime.

Military chiefs hit out after talks were scheduled between America, South Korea and former ally China over how to deal with an emergency in the North.

They also said claims that a report had been commissioned was evidence of 'desperate moves of the U.S. imperialists and the South Korean puppet warmongers' for regime change.

North Koreaís General Staff said the countryís communist system was a 'impregnable fortress' and described expectations of collapse as 'a pipe dream of a lunatic wishing for the sky to fall'.

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