NPR logo North Korea Torpedoed South Korean Gunboat, International Report Says


North Korea Torpedoed South Korean Gunboat, International Report Says

A new report from the Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group (JIG), has caused tensions between North and South Korea to escalate dramatically, Doualy Xaykaothao reports on Morning Edition today.

In March, the Cheonan, a South Korean warship, sunk near the country's border with North Korea. Civilian and military investigators say it was hit by a torpedo, launched from a North Korean submarine.

According to Xaykaothao, the two countries are trading warnings. The South says there will be "stern actions," as Pyongyang denies any involvement in the incident, and warns that any retaliation would spark war.

Some other stories making headlines this morning:

The New York Times—"Scientists Fault U.S. Response in Assessing Gulf Oil Spill":
The Obama administration and scientists are at odds over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, The Times reports, "with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spill's true scope."

The scientists assert that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies have been slow to investigate the magnitude of the spill and the damage it is causing in the deep ocean. They are especially concerned about getting a better handle on problems that may be occurring from large plumes of oil droplets that appear to be spreading beneath the ocean surface.

On Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris says that Steve Wereley, who "went from being a respected but little known engineering professor at Purdue University to being the center of attention last week after he produced a startling new estimate of the size of the spill," having analyzed video released by the senate, believes the spill appears to be even larger than he previously thought.

Roll Call—"Mining Disaster to Be Probed":
Today, the CEO of the Massey Energy Company, which owns the Upper Big Branch mine, and the International president of the United Mine Workers of America will testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. On the agenda: "Investing in Mine Safety: Preventing Another Disaster."

On Morning Edition, NPR's Frank Langfitt told Lynn Neary that he anticipates the CEO will face heated questioning about Capitol Hill today.

The Washington Post—"Mexico's state visit kicks off with pageantry at White House":
With new security procedures and a new social secretary in place, there were no gatecrashers at the state dinner in honor of President Felipe Calderon and his wife yesterday.

"This time, it looked as if everything went perfectly," Robin Givhan and Roxanne Roberts report:

The name of every guest arriving for Wednesday night's state dinner appeared on the official list. The inevitable comparisons to the drama of last year's faded away. And the party talk was focused on politics, the majesty of the White House and how so many memories were being made on such a night. Which is how it should be.

Guests — including Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, comedian George Lopez, and speed skater Shani Davis — were treated to fare prepared by Chicago chef Rick Bayless, music by Beyonce, and toasts by Obama and Calderon.

This morning, Calderon is scheduled to deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress.