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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Second DPRK-US Military Working Contact Made

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

Pyongyang, July 23 (KCNA) -- The second round of the DPRK-U.S. senior colonel-level military working contact for probing the truth about "Cheonan" case was made in Panmunjom on July 23.

The DPRK side confirmed the results of the U.S. forces side' examination of the issue of field investigation by the inspection group of the National Defence Commission which the DPRK side proposed at the last contact.

The U.S. forces side only repeated its previous unjust assertion that the "Cheonan" case should be handled within the framework of the Armistice Agreement as it was "violation of the AA."

The DPRK side chided the U.S. forces side for its insincere attitude of talking about the "violation of AA" quite contrary to the DPRK's positive efforts for the objective and scientific clarification of the truth about the case.

As an agreement was already reached as regards necessary working procedural matters including the schedule and agenda of the general-level talks, the U.S. forces side should unconditionally accept the NDC's proposal for field investigation by its inspection group for the successful talks.

As the U.S. forces side expressed understanding at the last contact, the NDC inspection group's field investigation is prerequisite for the objective and scientific clarification of the truth.

Only when the NDC inspection group's field inspection takes place first, will it be possible to open the DPRK-U.S. military general-level talks according to the results of investigation conducted by both sides and discuss various issues helpful not only to the fair solution to the ship case but to the improvement of the north-south relations and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. forces side should show its sincerity for the solution to the case by agreeing with the field investigation by the NDC inspection group as early as possible.

If the "results of investigation" announced by the joint investigation team were objective and scientific as claimed by the U.S. forces side, there would be no reason for it to refuse to receive the inspection group.

At the contact, the DPRK side advanced the following specific proposal for the NDC inspection group's field investigation:

The NDC inspection group shall be made up of 20-30 members.

The period of investigation shall be 3-5 days or longer under a bilateral agreement.

All possible means including field inspection, analysis of "evidence", hearing of testimonies, collection and study of data, etc. shall be used for the NDC inspection group's field investigation.

The U.S. forces side shall provide data, objects and material evidence requested by the inspection group.

The NDC inspection group shall make overland travel by vehicles of the DPRK side via Panmunjom.

The U.S. forces side should be responsible for all technical guarantees for field inspection including guide for the members of the inspection group, provision of conveniences and personal safety.

The DPRK side clarified that there is no reason for the U.S. forces side to refuse to accept the DPRK's most reasonable and fair and aboveboard proposal for clearing the domestic and foreign doubts and mistrust in the above-said case and defusing the tension prevailing on the Korean Peninsula.

In closing the DPRK side termed the projected U.S.-south Korea joint naval exercises and "Ulji Freedom Guardian" joint military exercises targeted against the DPRK another military provocation diametrically running counter to the atmosphere of dialogue.

Accusing the U.S. of resorting to an anti-DPRK military adventure while talking about "negotiated settlement of the issue," the DPRK side declared this double-dealing attitude is a dangerous one of driving the situation on the Korean Peninsula to a war phase.

The U.S. forces side would be seriously mistaken if it calculates it can browbeat the DPRK through large-scale war exercises.

It should immediately stop the anti-DPRK nuclear war racket which it kicked up under the pretext of the false case, though belatedly, if it truly respects the just demand of the international community and is interested in ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the rest of Northeast Asia.

Both sides agreed to hold the third round of the DPRK-U.S. senior colonel-level military working contact in Panmunjom around July 29.

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