N.Korea holds more talks with US military on ship sinking

N.Korea holds more talks with US military on ship sinking
# 31 July 2010 02:47 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Military officers from North Korea and the US-led United Nations Command held their third round of talks Friday on the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that was blamed on the North, APA reports quoting AFP.
Colonels from the two sides met at the border truce village of Panmunjom for two hours to try to arrange a higher-level meeting on the issue. They agreed to meet again on August 9, a UN Command spokesman said, without elaborating.
Cross-border tensions have risen sharply since South Korea and the United States accused the North in late May of torpedoing the ship near the disputed inter-Korean border with the loss of 46 lives.
US and South Korean forces Wednesday wrapped up a four-day naval and air exercise -- the first in a series -- which they said was intended to warn the North against further attacks.
South Korea’s military will hold its own anti-submarine exercise in the Yellow Sea next week. The August 5-9 drill will involve the army, navy, air force and marines, said a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Seoul and Washington have also held talks about staging a joint military exercise in the Yellow Sea in September, the spokesman said.
The UN Command has been based in the South since the end of the 1950-53 war to enforce the armistice which ended the conflict.
North Korea vehemently denies any role in sinking the Cheonan corvette in March. It fiercely denounced this week’s war games and threatened military retaliation.
At a previous meeting at Panmunjom the North demanded to send a high-level team to the South to inspect evidence dredged from the seabed, including what Seoul says is a part of a North Korean torpedo.
South Korea has rejected its neighbour’s demand to send investigators, saying the UN Command should handle the case as a serious breach of the armistice.
When the talks were last held on July 23, the two sides discussed forming a joint group to assess the circumstances of and evidence on the sinking.
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