Seoul: North Korea said on Sunday it has rejected
a proposal by the American-led UN Command to hold military
talks on the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed
The UN Command, which oversees the armistice that ended
the three-year Korean War in 1953, has launched an
investigation of the sinking.
A separate team of international investigators concluded
last month that North Korea torpedoed the warship Cheonan near
the tense Korean sea border. North Korea denied the allegation
and has warned any punishment would trigger war.
Details of the UN Command's probe have not been released.
North Korea said Sunday that the UN Command's armistice
commission has sent it a message calling for general-level
talks to inform the North of the results of its investigation.
"The US imperialists" used the armistice commission to
send a "ridiculous notice proposing general-level talks in
order to brief it on its results," the North's official Korean
Central News Agency said.
It said the results of the UN Command's probe "will only
represent" the outcome of the South Korean-led international
investigation, which it said was "full of fabrication and
David Oten, a spokesman for the US military command in
Seoul, said he had no information about the North Korean
The dispatch said North Korea is willing to hold
high-level military talks with South Korea only if Seoul
allows North Korean inspectors to verify the investigation
An official at Seoul's Defence Ministry said it has no
intention to accept North Korean inspectors. The official, who
spoke on condition of anonymity citing department policy, said
he has no information about the UN Command's reported proposal
to hold general-level talks.
The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1953
truce has not been replaced by a peace treaty. US Gen Walter L
Sharp, chief of the 28,500 troops in South Korea, heads the UN
Backed by the US and other countries, South Korea has
taken its own punitive measures against North Korea, including
trade restrictions. The North reacted angrily, declaring it
was cutting off ties with Seoul and threatening to attack.
South Korea has taken the issue to the UN Security
Council to seek punishment for North Korea.
First Published: Sunday, June 27, 2010, 20:43