SEOUL (Reuters) - At least 19 North Korean sailors were killed when a naval vessel sank during "combat duties" off the east coast last month, North and South Korean media said.
South Korean media said the ship sank during a drill, killing "scores".
Photos released by North Korea's KCNA state news agency showed leader Kim Jong Un laying flowers at the foot of a memorial to the dead, encircled by at least 19 graves emblazoned with the faces of the sailors.
"Submarine chaser No. 233 fell while performing combat duties in mid-October," KCNA said.
The article did not specify what operation it was undertaking.
South Korea's Choson Ilbo newspaper said the ship sank during a drill, killing scores of sailors, and that two vessels were involved, quoting an unnamed military source.
The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-1953 conflict ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. North Korea conducted its third nuclear test this year in defiance of United Nations resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world.