rfi

On air
  • RFI English Live
  • Latest Bulletin
  • RFI French Live

North Korea South Korea War

Issued on • Modified

Funeral held for South Korean sailors killed in blast

media
Reuters

South Korea has held a military funeral to honour the 46 sailors who died after a blast sank their warship last month. The ceremony takes place amid growing suspicion that North Korea was to blame.


The service took place at a naval base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, and is the culmination of five days of official mourning for the crew members.

President Lee Myung-bak and his wife joined 2,800 mourners. They offered white chrysanthemums, burned incense and bowed before the framed photos of the soldiers.

Warships sounded whistles, and seamen saluted when the vehicles carrying the ashes of those killed passed by.

Officials have vowed retaliation against those responsible for the attack, one of South Korea's worst naval disasters.

South Korea has not directly blamed its Cold War-era rival North Korea, but suspicion has focused on Pyongyang given its history of provocations and attacks on the South.

South Korea's defense minister said this week the blast was most likely caused by a torpedo attack. North Korea has denied any role.