Shocker: North Korea Lied!
This comes as an utter surprise to me, but as things turn out the North Korean government lied during the Cheonan controversy in claiming that it never marked its munitions components with handwritten numbers! As the above left photo of one of the recent shells that rained down on Yeonpyeong Island demonstrates, the North's military does mark munitions with handwritten numbers! The torpedo that sank the Cheonan Corvette, marked with the expression "1 beon" (i.e., "1 번," as shown in the above right photo), is thus fully compatible with a North Korean origin, despite the North's angry denial.
According to Lee Young-jong and Jeong Yong-soo, reporting for the JoongAng Daily, "Markings connect artillery shells, Cheonan torpedo" (November 29, 2010):
A North Korean marking reading "No. 1" was found on an artillery shell that was used in the attack on Yeonpyeong Island on Tuesday . . . . [A] similar hand-written mark appeared on a torpedo propeller shaft that Seoul believes the [North Korean] regime used to sink the South Korean navy vessel Cheonan in March, in which 46 sailors lost their lives . . . . A source at the Defense Ministry said the marking was presumably written with a black marker. Other artillery shells collected by the ministry showed that they, too, had handwritten numbers, such as 5, 8, 35 and 88 . . . . South Korean experts have argued that the North Korean military puts numbers on its weapons to classify components when they assemble the complete weapon . . . . [The] North . . . claims it has never used handwritten numbers when creating munition components . . . . [but loses] loses credibility because hand-written numbers were found on artillery shells that the North admitted it fired on Yeonpyeong Island . . . . [These] newly-discovered remnants of artillery shells now put an end to the controversy that the markings on the torpedo that sank the Cheonan were fabricated [by the South Korean military, so the] . . . North just dug its own grave with the Yeonpyeong provocation.I've also read elsewhere -- specifically, in the Chosun Ilbo -- that the fact that these numerical markings on the artillery shells survived the explosive heat proves that the marking on the torpedo could also have survived that explosion, despite the earlier doubts of some skeptics.
Whatever one might now think about that torpedo, the North Korean regime lied to the world about not marking its munitions with handwritten numbers, much to my astonishment!
I just can't get over it.