Pyongyang dismisses claims about sinking S Korean ship
Iran Press TV
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:14AM
North Korea has once again denied any involvement in the fatal sinking of a South Korean ship in 2010.
North Korea's top military body, the National Defense Commission (NDC), also slammed South Korea for insisting on its allegation, which Pyongyang said, was meant to implicate the North for the incident, which left 46 South Korean seamen dead.
In a statement, the NDC described as a "fictitious story' Seoul's claim of North Korea's involvement in the sinking of the South Korean naval corvette Cheonan.
The statement comes ahead of the fifth anniversary of the Cheonan sinking on March 26, 2010.
The incident near the disputed Yellow Sea maritime border between North and South Korea, entailed retaliatory measures including a trade embargo imposed by the South on Pyongyang, and triggered a dangerous surge in cross-border tensions.
In November 2010, the North's retaliatory shelling of a South Korean border island also killed four people including two civilians, sparking fears of a full-fledged war in the region.
South Korea has ever since maintained that its ship was torpedoed by a North Korean submarine.
Seoul says it will only consider lifting its embargoes on Pyongyang when the North claims responsibility for the attack and apologizes for the killings.
This is while some influential South Korean business people and politicians have demanded that the embargoes be lifted and trade resume with the North.
The two Koreas are still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, and not an official peace treaty.
Since then, Seoul and Washington have been launching regular annual military exercises, which Pyongyang regards as provocative.
In response to these drills, the North Korean leaders, Kim Jong-un and his predecessors, have called on the people and the country's military forces to further strengthen themselves and maintain preparedness and agility in case of possible military confrontation with the US and its regional allies.
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