North Denies Involvement in Sinking as South Korean Warship Excavated from Seabed Near Disputed Yellow Sea Border

As tearful families looked on, the South Korean military recovered the bodies of 32 crewmen from the stern of a sunken warship that salvagers raised Thursday from the floor of the Yellow Sea.

The naval corvette Cheonan sank March 26 after a mysterious explosion that broke the 1,200-ton vessel in half.

The warship was on routine patrol along the tense maritime border with North Korea at the time of the incident. Seoul and Pyongyang engaged in three bloody clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.

A cause of the explosion has not been determined, but South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-young has said a torpedo may have been responsible.

Speculation has also risen that a sea mine left over from the 1950-53 Korean War was the cause of the explosion.