Lee says rescuing sailors from sunken ship most important

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Lee says rescuing sailors from sunken ship most important

President Lee Myung-bak ordered his military to focus efforts on rescuing sailors from a sinking naval ship, aides said Saturday.

They said it was unclear whether North Korea is directly involved in the incident.

Lee convened an emergency meeting of security-related ministers at the underground bunker of the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, immediately after reports that a 1,200-ton naval ship carrying 104 crew members was sinking near the western sea border with North Korea. The

South's military was still trying to confirm the exact reason for the incident that took place Friday night.

"For now, it is not certain whether North Korea is related" to the incident, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said. "President Lee ordered the military to do its best to rescue the soldiers."

"finding the truth (behind the incident) is important, but saving our soldiers is more important," the president was quoted as saying.

According to the Defense Ministry, 58 of the 104 crew members on board have been rescued so far. [Yonhap]

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