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UN Command, North Korea Trade Demands in Border Talks

VOA News 23 July 2010

North Korea has renewed its request to examine the wreckage of the sunken South Korean warship Cheonan.

The request was made Friday during a second round of talks with the U.N. Command at the border village of Panmunjom. Those talks were arranged this month to discuss the March sinking.

The U.S.-led military command said afterward it demanded that the North admit responsibility for the sinking. It told the North the attack was a violation of the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953.

North Korea denies responsibility, despite an investigation that found remains of a North Korean torpedo. Its official news agency said its delegates asked to send a team of experts to examine the wreckage, repeating a demand made at the earlier meeting.

A third round of talks was tentatively scheduled for July 29.

North Korea's news agency said its delegates also demanded that the United States and South Korea cancel a naval exercise scheduled to begin Sunday in the Sea of Japan. North Korean officials made the same demand at a regional security forum in Vietnam, where a spokesman warned of a "physical response" if the exercise goes ahead.

The U.N. Command, which enforces the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, has conducted its own investigation of the Cheonan incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.



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