Pyongyang Repeats Request for Inter-Korean Probe Into Cheonan Sinking
09:46 24.05.2015(updated 10:07 24.05.2015)
North Korea has reportedly repeated its call for a new joint investigation into the sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010 in an attempt to ward off accusations of its involvement in the incident and prompt Seoul to lift its sanctions.
Pyongyang has confirmed its readiness to participate in an inter-Korean investigation into the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in 2010, which Seoul says was the work of North Korea, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
In statement issued on Sunday, the Policy Department of North Korea's National Defense Commission repeated its proposal to carry out a joint probe into the Cheonan sinking; the first such proposal was made in July 2010, three months after the incident took place.
'If there is a basis to believe that the sinking was our doing, [South Korea] should accept our proposal to jointly investigate the incident in front of all our people and the world,' the Policy Department said.
It added that 'establishing the truth will be even easier' given that the Cheonan corvette was brought to the surface a month after the sinking.
According to the Policy Department, a relevant 'inspection team' within North Korea's National Defense Commission has already been formed.
Earlier, a South Korean-led investigation involving a team of international experts concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedo had destroyed the Cheonan warship in the Yellow Sea in March 2010, splitting the vessel's hull in two and killing all 46 sailors on board. North Korea denies these accusations.
Two months after the Cheonan sinking, the South Korean government slapped a series of sanctions on Pyongyang, breaking almost all economic ties, except those related to a joint industrial zone in Kaesong in North Korea.
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