United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has sent his condolences to South Korean President Lee Myung—bak expressing his “shock and sadness” over the sinking of a warship near the disputed maritime border with North Korea.

“I hope that the on-going search and rescue mission will be conducted swiftly. I would like to extend my deepest sympathy and solidarity to the Korean people through you,” the Secretary-General wrote in his letter.

Seoul has initiated investigations to ascertain the cause behind the incident which occurred in the Yellow Sea on Friday. Speculations about North Korea’s involvement have not been confirmed.

Out of the 104 sailors, 58 have been rescued but 46 are still reported to be missing.

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