North Korea, UN Command Meet Again on Cheonan Incident

July 30, 2010

The U.S.-led United Nations Command held a third round of talks with North Korean military officials Friday about the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship that has been blamed on Pyongyang.

Both sides sent colonels to the talks at the border village of Panmunjom. No word was immediately available on the outcome of the talks, but a U.N. Command spokesman said the two sides agreed tentatively to hold another meeting August 9.

Discussions were expected to focus on whether the two sides should form a joint group to assess the evidence involved in the March 26 sinking of the warship Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors.

An international team of investigators says a North Korean torpedo downed the Cheonan, but Pyongyang denies responsibility.

At the last meeting held in Panmunjom last week, the North renewed an earlier request to examine the wreckage of the Cheonan.  But the U.S.-led U.N. Command said it demanded the regime admit responsibility for the sinking.

It also told the North the attack was a violation of the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953.  The U.N. Command enforces the armistice.

Friday’s meeting comes just after the U.S. and South Korea wrapped up joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan.

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