Swedish Ambassador on the sinking of the Cheonan

(Coyner’s Comment: Rarely do we get an ambassador to make a statement for the KER. In this case, I had to do some minor negotiation with the Swedish Ambassador, H.E. Lars Vargo, to allow his statement to be circulated.
Accordingly, specifically and absolutely, the below statement is not to be quoted or distributed further without prior consent of the Swedish Ambassador. If you wish to quote or distribute, you must contact the Ambassador at lars.vargo@foreign.ministry.se . He is a very generous individual and you may expect his general cooperation. But you must ask beforehand, please!)

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I have been very close to those involved in the investigation (the Swedish team) and the way the investigation has been performed. And there is NO doubt whatsoever that it was a torpedo that sank the Cheonan and that the torpedo was of North Korean origin. The Swedish team has been very careful in its investigation and the members have had no reason to rush to any conclusion, but after researching the evidence, also evidence that has not been discussed in the media, they are fully convinced that it was an outside explosion caused by a torpedo of North Korean origin. The Swedish team consisted of the four best experts we have in the field.

It is also very clear that North Korea has started an Internet campaign to plant doubts wherever they can about the investigation. Some of the mails also we have received and they originated in North Korea, although Chinese servers was used. It is natural, perhaps even good, that journalists and scholars doubt reports where governments are involved, but in this case the evidence is overwhelming.

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There has also been rumours circulating that the Swedish team was having doubts about the conclusions. This is not true. As all professional investigators they looked at the evidence with extremely critical eyes before drawing any conclusions. With their expertise they could also point at some evidence that others had not fully noted.

The Swedish experts have many years of experience investigating similar incidents in the Baltic Sea.

So, no doubt in my mind.

Best regards,

Lars Vargo
Swedish Ambassador to Korea

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