Fifth DPRK-U.S. military talks at colonel level held in Pyongyang

19:35, September 16, 2010      

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The fifth round of the DPRK-U.S. senior colonel-level military working contact was held at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Thursday, the official news agency KCNA reported.

During the talks, the DPRK side said that the U.S. "persistently and groundlessly" linked the "Cheonan" case with the DPRK while staging DPRK-targeted joint military exercises and putting into force "additional sanctions" against it. Those actiona "deliberately" laid hurdles in the way of settling the issue, according to the KCNA.

The more deliberately the U.S. links the "Cheonan" case with the DPRK, the stronger its army and people will become in their stand to thoroughly probe the truth about the case, the DPRK side said.

The proposal for forming the DPRK-U.S. joint inspection group to investigate the truth of the "Cheonan" case advanced by the DPRK side at the fourth talks was discussed again.

The DPRK side proposed to name the inspection group, define the rank of its head of each side and fix the number of the members of the group and start the investigation as early as possible.

The U.S. side said it would examine the proposal and clarify its stand at the next round of the contact, which was agreed by the two sides to be held on Sept. 28, the KCNA said.

The 1,200-ton "Cheonan" with 104 crew members aboard sank March 26 near the maritime border with the DPRK after an unexplained explosion. Only 58 sailors were rescued after the sinking.

South Korean investigators issued the results of an investigation on May 20, saying the "Cheonan" was sunk by a torpedo from the DPRK.

The DPRK National Defense Commission issued a statement on the same day, rejecting the claim of South Korea and offering to send an inspection group to South Korea to verify material evidence. However, South Korea rejected the DPRK's request.

Source: Xinhua


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