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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DPRK-US Military Working Contact Made

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

Pyongyang, July 15 (KCNA) -- A DPRK-U.S. military senior colonel (colonel)-level working contact was made in Panmunjom on Thursday for the purpose of probing the truth behind the case of warship "Cheonan's" sinking in a fair way.

At the contact both sides discussed working procedural matters for opening the DPRK-U.S. military general-level talks in Panmunjom concerning the "Cheonan" case.

Agreed at the contact were such technical matters as the date and venue of talks and the formation of delegations. Both sides also agreed to adopt "On probing the truth behind 'Cheonan' case in an objective and scientific way" as the agenda of the talks.

Clarifying the principled stand that field investigation by an inspection group of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK should precede under any circumstances to ensure the successful opening of the general-level talks as an agreement was reached on technical matters including the agenda of the talks, the Korean People's Army side stressed as follows at the contact:

Voices skeptical about and critical of the "results of investigation" into the "Cheonan" case,an unprecedented anti-DPRK conspiratorial farce orchestrated by the south Korean puppet authorities, are heard not only from south Koreans but also from members of the "joint investigation team".

The UNSC recently concluded the discussion on the "Cheonan" case by publishing a "presidential statement" devoid of substance, a clear proof of the lack of scientific accuracy and objectivity of the "results of investigation" announced by the south Korean puppet authorities.

The U.S. forces side proposed talks, asserting that it conducted "a special investigation" into the case, but the DPRK side, its dialogue partner, has not yet been to the scene of the incident, much less conducting investigation.

It is elementary practice for the parties concerned to conduct investigation before handling a case at the talks.

If the U.S. forces side is truly interested in the settlement of the case, there is no reason for it to refuse the DPRK's proposal as it is entirely in line with the purport of the DPRK-U.S. military general-level talks for the fair solution of the "Cheonan" case.

The U.S. forces side's refusal of the DPRK's just proposal would render the distrust and stand-off between the two sides more acute and the situation in and around the Korean Peninsula tenser.

The DPRK side will closely follow how the U.S. forces side will handle the issue of the NDC inspection group's field investigation, the KPA side said, strongly urging the U.S. forces side holding the prerogative of the supreme command over the south Korean army to fully fulfill its responsibility.

The U.S. forces side, however, insisted on "informing the results of investigation into the case" representing the wrong stand of the south Korean puppet authorities only throughout the contact.

The KPA side reiterated the stand that the NDC inspection group's field investigation should take place first under any circumstances in order to probe the truth behind the case.

Both sides agreed to hold the second round of the DPRK-U.S. military senior colonel-level working contact concerning the "Cheonan" case in Panmunjom around July 20.

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