North Korea sends UN a denial of ship sinking
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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.


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

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