Pyongyang, May 28 (IANS) In the first press statement two months after the sinking of the South Korean warship ‘Cheonan’ in March, North Korea Friday said it was not involved in the incident, and asked Seoul to conduct an ‘objective and fair’ probe.
Whether or not South Korea received the inspection group from North Korea was the key to judging the ‘Cheonan’ incident, Pak Rim Su, head of the policy bureau of North Korea’s National Defence Commission (NDC), was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
If the investigation results of South Korea were ‘just and honest,’ it should receive the inspection group, Pak said, adding that the investigation should be ‘objective and fair’.
Meanwhile, a senior North Korean military official showed simulated images of how the ‘Cheonan’ could have sunk, clearing any North Korean connection in the sinking.
Tensions flared among the two Koreas after the 1,200-tonne warship with 104 crew members on board, sank March 26 after an explosion, killing 46 sailors.
South Korea released the results of an investigation by international experts May 20, accusing North Korea of sinking the ‘Cheonan’ in a torpedo attack.
However, North Korea has firmly denied the charges and insisted on sending its own inspectors to verify the evidence.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak vowed that his country would resort to measures of self-defence in case there is any ‘further military provocation’ by North Korea.
South Korea has also halted trade with North Korea and banned its merchant ships from entering South Korean waters.