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South Korea raises sunken warship amid questions about retaliation

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“It is 99 percent certain the ship was sunk by North Korea,” argues Kim Kisam, a former South Korean intelligence agent now living in the United States. Mr. Kim believes a North Korean submarine may have been responsible.

South Korean president critical of North

President Lee Myung-bak, unlike the two presidents who led South Korea for a decade before his inauguration more than two years ago, has been highly critical of the North.

Mr. Lee has repeatedly said North Korea has to give up its nuclear program as a precondition for resumption of the aid given the North before he took office. His hand may be strengthened since South Korea was chosen at the Global Summit on Nuclear Strategy in Washington this week as the host of the next such summit in 2012.

That year is significant as the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong-Il’s father, Kim Il-Sung, who died in July 1994 but remains officially the North’s “eternal president.” North Koreans celebrated the 98th anniversary of his birth on Thursday with fireworks, rallies, and electronic signs saying “General Kim Il-Sung is our sun” and “we will live forever with the president,” according to Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency.

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