N Korea ready to provide torpedo sample over warship sinking
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 16:26
  
Seoul: North Korea said Tuesday it was ready to provide torpedo samples to back up its denial of responsibility for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship.

It said aluminium alloy fragments salvaged by South Korea from the site of the sinking in March "prove themselves that the torpedo was not from the north".

North Korean torpedoes are "made of steel alloy material", not aluminium alloy made in other countries, the country's powerful National Defence Commission said.

North Korea said it was still willing to hand a steel alloy sample from its torpedoes to the United States and South Korea, in an official statement carried by the state Korean Central News Agency said.

The commission rejected as the "most hideous conspiratorial farce in history" the findings of a Seoul-led multinational probe which blamed a North Korean torpedo for the sinking near the disputed border in the Yellow Sea.

In September, South Korea concluded in a final report that a torpedo attack by a North Korean submarine sank the corvette and killed 46 sailors.

As material evidence, the South presented aluminium fragments allegedly from a North Korean torpedo.

PTI

New Delhi: Seeking to downplay the Headley controversy, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon Tuesday said the access given by the US to the Pakistani-American terrorist was "unprecedented", saying such cooperation may not have been possible five years back.

Menon's remarks seeking to clear the air ahead of the visit of US President Barack Obama, came within days of Home Secretary GK Pillai voicing disappointment over the US not sharing specific information on David Headley, a key accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

"In India, (there is a debate on) how much did the US knew about Headley at what time and how much did they tell us. If you look at the broader picture, the kind of access we got to Headley is unprecedented. This is not what many states do very easily," he said at a function organised by FICCI here.

Menon wondered whether this kind of cooperation would have been possible about five years back.

He said the dissatisfaction over certain aspects of the ties was because people expect "much more" out of this growing relationship.

"People expect much more out of this relationship. So, a lot of dissatisfaction we hear, whether it is outsourcing or counter-terrorism, (it is because) we expect this relationship to do much more," Menon said.

The NSA said the achievements of the relationship were "unprecedented" which neither of the two countries would have considered five or ten years back.

"The level of engagement between our two countries is unprecedented. We never had this kind of engagement with each other in our history. There is no sphere of human endeavour in which we do not actually cooperate... the range of our engagement is quite unprecedented," he said.

Menon said the visit of Obama has given both the countries an opportunity to "actually put into practice and not just to showcase what we actually practice".

Asserting that he was "very optimistic" about the future of Indo-US ties, the NSA said the best thing for the countries to do was to be have a pragmatic approach in furthering the relationship.

"I think we should do what we do best. We should be pragmatic and work the relationship where it works... I think we have the moment where we can be ambitious about the relationship," Menon said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 16:26


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