North Korea sends UN a denial of ship sinking

Last Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010 - 15:56

Seoul: North Korea has sent a statement to UN members repeating a denial that it torpedoed a South Korean warship, the communist country`s state media reported on Monday.

A Seoul-led international investigation concluded that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the South Korean warship Cheonan in March near the tense sea border between the Koreas, killing 46 sailors.

Pyongyang`s Korean Central News Agency said it circulated a statement among UN members last week. It called the international investigation`s results a "hideous conspiratorial farce" orchestrated by South Korea and the United States.

Earlier this month, the North issued a lengthy point-by-point denial of the sinking. The report came days after a series of talks with the American-led United Nations Command that focused on the Cheonan sinking ended with little progress.

The North accused the UN Command, which oversees the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, of rejecting its demand that crucial evidence of the sinking should be brought to the Korean border village where the talks were taking place.

South Korea`s Foreign Ministry confirmed the statement`s circulation at the UN, saying it was discussing how to respond.

It`s not known how the UN will react to the North`s statement. In July, the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement that condemned the attack but didn`t directly blame North Korea. South Korea pushed for direct condemnation. But China - the North`s most important ally and a veto-holding council member - opposed it and any new sanctions against its communist neighbour.

The sinking caused tension to soar on the Korean peninsula, which officially remains in a state of war because the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

PTI



First Published: Monday, November 15, 2010 - 15:56

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