Korean Newspaper Chosun Ilbo Reports Korean Navy Alerted of Possible North Korean Attack Weeks Before Mysterious Sinking of Warship

Military intelligence officers warned earlier this year that North Korea was preparing a suicide submarine attack on a South Korean vessel in retaliation for an earlier defeat in a sea battle, a newspaper said Thursday.

There has been growing speculation that North Korea was behind the March 26 explosion that split the 1,200-ton Cheonan in two and sank it, killing at least 39 people and leaving seven missing.

Isolated even from his communist allies, unable to feed his own people, and hobbled by an irreparably broken economy, Kim Jong Il would appear to be a man with everything to lose from provoking rich and well-armed South Korea.

But last month’s sinking of the corvette Cheonan has shown once again how few options the rest of the world has for dealing with the world’s most tenacious dictatorship.

South Korea has not yet blamed North Korea for the March 26 sinking of the 1,200-ton warship, the Cheonan. But it has said the ship was torn in half in an “external” blast, fueling suspicions that it was hit by a North Korean torpedo. North Korea has denied involvement.