North Korea demands own probe into 'Cheonan' sinking

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Beijing, July 17 (ANI): The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) military has demanded that it be allowed to conduct its own investigation into the March sinking of a South Korean warship 'Cheonan', during rare talks with the US-led UN Command for the first time after the deadly incident occurred.

"Field investigation by an inspection group should precede under any circumstances to ensure the successful opening of the general-level talks," China Daily quoted the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, as saying.

Colonel-level officers from the DPRK and the UN Command met on July 15, 2010 for 90 minutes at the border village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone.

According to the China Daily, an international team of investigators concluded in May that the DPRK's submarine fired a torpedo that sank the 1,200-ton Cheonan, killing 46 South Korean sailors in the worst naval attack on the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Seoul has so far rejected Pyongyang's request.

The UN Command, which oversees the armistice, conducted a separate investigation into whether the sinking violated the truce but the findings have not been disclosed.

The two sides agreed to hold second colonel-level talks in Panmunjom around July 20, the KCNA said. (ANI)

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