But for the rest of the ROK, life goes on. The next day was the KBO's opening day, and all games proceeded as normal, without even, near as I could tell, a moment of silence or remembrance of any kind for the missing sailors. (Though perhaps the charye table I photographed was for them.)
In part, Southerners' equanimity may be due to the fact that the cause of the blast which sunk the ship is unknown, and according to a Dong-A Ilbo story could forever remain a mystery. But it is also because this kind of thing is old hat to them. Even if it turns out DPRK military was somehow involved, very little will happen as a result.
Right now, speculation tying the North to the sinking centers mainly on two possibilities: left-over mines in the area from the 1950-1953 action; or "two-manned torpedoes":
North Korea has two-manned torpedoes, citing "former North Korean navy men who defected" to the South.
The two-manned submarines are fitted with two torpedoes or a mine and move underwater at a pace slower than two kilometers per hour to avoid detection.
Still, while NK is quite often sneaky and underhanded, their aggression up near the NLL and Baeknyeong Island has usually been quite open--why, as recently as January, one of their ships spent the better part of the day firing rounds into the empty ocean. More serious skirmishes, even deadly ones, occured in the area in 2009, 2002 and 1999.
The ROKS Cheonan, commissioned in 1989, was a Pohang-class corvette cruiser with a crew of 104, a maximum speed of 32 knots, combined diesel or gas propulsion, and a displacement of 1200 tonnes. It spent most of its time patrolling the waters of the Yellow Sea, or the West Sea as it is called here, and was considerably off its usual course when the blast occured. This may be because it was trying to avoid high waves and rough waters that evening.
Of course, March and April marks the Foal Eagle/Key Resolve joint training excercise, so 22 vessels were speedily on hand to assist in the rescue and salvage efforts. Alas, no survivors beyond the 58 crew rescued at the time of sinking have been found. A diver was killed earlier today during rescue attempts, as well.