Monday, March 28, 2011

One Year On – Hankyoreh Still In Denial Over Cheonan

Hankyoreh's version of the attack
Memorials were held Saturday marking the first anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean warship, Cheonan.

Making the anniversary in its own way, the left-wing Hankyoreh newspaper once again took the opportunity to deny any involvement in the sinking, despite being unable to provide alibis or information regarding the precise whereabouts of all of its staff at the time of the attack. The newspaper has also continually denied it had any knowledge beforehand that the attack would take place, but despite numerous calls to do so it has been unwilling to provide proof, fueling enduring doubts over its unyielding posture. Some have said that the newspaper is in possession of additional information which it has not printed, but it has not revealed it.

Lee, a Korean postgraduate in Political Science at Faber College in the United States, who is planning on researching the Cheonan incident next year, says that the fact that nobody has disproved complicity by Hankyoreh staff logically demands that their involvement be considered. The Hankyoreh dismissed the initial findings of the scientist, while again declining the opportunity to reveal the truth of what they knew.

Lee has lent academic weight to a debate which The Hankyoreh appears unwilling, or unable, to counter. But instead of providing the simple proof many have requested, the newspaper has instead spent considerable time trying to blame others for the attack. During the past year, a variety of alternative theories have been put forward for the sinking, including an accident, a collision with an American submarine, a giant squid attack, and aliens, which all run contrary to the findings of an international investigative group of scientists comprised of 49 South Koreans and 24 foreign experts from the U.S., Sweden, Australia, and Britain. But The Hankyoreh mocked this conclusive evidence with its repeated use of quotes around the words "conclusive evidence", while again providing no conclusive evidence of its own.

Left-wing groups, who accused the government of attempting to politicize the sinking, say they are worried that if involvement in the attack by The Hankyoreh were proven it would unite conservative groups and bolster government support in elections.

The blanket denial of involvement in the incident by the newspaper and its staff, despite the lack of precise alibis in a number of cases, is clearly untrue insofar as they have written a series of articles about it, and therefore clearly are involved. As such, their claims of non-involvement are disingenuous at best, rightly raising doubts in people's minds as to the veracity of their other denials.

Related Links
Cheonan 1 year later: enduring doubts and unyielding posture
Defying findings, liberals demand truth on Cheonan
Having no doubt over ship’s sinking
Right and left stake out Cheonan battle lines

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