cross-posted from T-Time
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Military officials say a South Korean navy ship has sunk off an island not far from North Korea.
An official with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said early Saturday that the ship sank some four hours after it began taking on water. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with department policy.
The official said at least 58 of the 104 crew members have been rescued. There was no immediate confirmation of casualties. A rescue operation was still under way.
The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.
South Korea’s military scrambled naval vessels to the western waters near the disputed maritime border with rival North Korea late Friday after an explosion ripped a hole in the bottom of a military ship, officials and news reports said.
Earlier Friday, North Korea’s military threatened “unpredictable strikes,” including a nuclear attack, in anger over a report that South Korea and the U.S. were preparing for possible instability in the totalitarian country.