Tags: Korea | north | talks | direct

SKorea Rejects North Call For Talks

Thursday, 01 Jul 2010 04:52 AM

SEOUL — South Korea Thursday rejected North Korea's proposal for direct military talks on the sinking of a warship, saying the issue should be handled under the armistice which ended their 1950-53 war.

Tensions have been high since the South, citing findings of a multinational probe, accused the North of torpedoing a corvette with the loss of 46 sailors near the disputed sea border.

The South announced its own reprisals, including cutting off most trade, and is also asking the United Nations Security Council to censure the North.

The North, which has angrily denied any involvement in the sinking, has threatened a military response to any UN action.

"The (Seoul) government should focus on discussions at the Security Council," said foreign ministry spokesman Kim Young-Sun, in response to a new offer by Pyongyang to hold inter-Korean talks on the ship.

"It is more appropriate to hold general-level talks between the United Nations Command and North Korea's military and address the issue within the framework of the armistice agreement."

The North has refused to deal with the US-led UN Command based in the South.

In a letter dated Tuesday to the Security Council's Mexican presidency, North Korea proposed direct military talks with Seoul and urged the council to support Pyongyang's bid to conduct its own probe.

The North made a similar suggestion Sunday of direct talks.

South Korea earlier rejected the North's proposal to send its own investigators to examine the evidence on the warship.

Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said last month it would be "like a robber or a murderer insisting he must inspect the crime scene".

Copyright © 2010 AFP.

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SEOUL — South Korea Thursday rejected North Korea's proposal for direct military talks on the sinking of a warship, saying the issue should be handled under the armistice which ended their 1950-53 war.
Korea,north,talks,direct
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2010-52-01
Thursday, 01 Jul 2010 04:52 AM
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