While the search for the missing 46 Korean sailors continues (as families of the missing eagerly wait for the search results), the mystery over the sinking of South Korean naval ship Choenan is intensifying. No definitive cause of the sinking has been identified. The South Korean government initially downplayed any possible North Korea's involvement, but now suggests a possibility of North Korean mine, or a mine left over from the Korean War. This is unlikely as the location of the sinking took place south of a South Korean island that is near the disputed sea border with North Korea. And it is more unlikely that Korean War-era mine could have created a blast severe enough to break the large 1200-ton Choenan in half.
Some observers are asking why Choenan, a large ship, was sailing in the part of the West Sea (Yellow Sea) where the water is shallow and currents are rapid. Usually, small and fast boats patrol this area. Could this have been a result of an accident during a military exercise in the area? The South Korean government has not been forthcoming with definitive information on the incident, further fueling doubts and uncertainties. Because this incident took place near the disputed sea border with North Korea, it highlights the dangers of unresolved issues of the Korean War, which is still technically not over (due to the lack of formal peace treaty ending it).