DPRK snaps back at Seoul for jeopardizing ties

Updated: 2010-05-20 10:22
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DPRK snaps back at Seoul for jeopardizing ties
A part of the sunken Seoul naval vessel Cheonan is lifted by a giant crane off Baengnyeongdo island, near the maritime border with the Democratic People's Rebpulic of Korea, northwest of Seoul, April 24, 2010. [Agencies]

PYONGYANG -- The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea on Wednesday released a statement accusing Seoul of taking advantage of the sinking of its Cheonan warship in March to push north-south relations to a catastrophe.  

In the statement released through the Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the committee said the campaign against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) launched by Seoul in the wake of the sinking of the Cheonan reached the height of its confrontation and war moves.    

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The authorities of the south side regard the accident as a golden opportunity for pushing north-south relations to a catastrophe, the statement said.    

It warned that the Republic of Korea (ROK) was "seriously mistaken if it thinks it can weather its domestic crisis by misleading the public opinion through such trite campaign as straining the situation and bedeviling the inter-Korean relations."    

ROK has violated the June 15, 2000 joint declaration and the October 4, 2007 declaration, pushing the inter-Korean cooperation to a collapse, the statement said.  

At the end of the statement, the committee stressed stressed that the DPRK will never tolerate the confrontation and war moves of Seoul. If the south ignites a war together with the US, the DPRK will "mete out merciless and resolute punishment to the  warmongers."    

In Seoul, President Lee Myung-bak said Wednesday that his country will present clear and definitive material evidence on Thursday related to the mysterious sinking of the warship.    

Lee made the remark during a 20-minute phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama late Wednesday, according to a press release from Cheong Wa Dae, the ROK's presidential office.    

ROK will present evidence that can't be refuted by any country or person while announcing the outcome of an investigation conducted by a multinational team on the cause of the sinking of its Cheonan frigate, Lee was quoted as saying.    

In the phone conversation, Lee and Hatoyama agreed on close  cooperation and pushing for strong international collaboration in taking follow-up measures after the announcement, the press release said.    

The press release did not mention whether Lee directly touched upon who is responsible for the incident.    

ROK's Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told local reporters earlier that the DPRK's involvement in the Cheonan incident was "obvious," saying that the ongoing investigation has revealed that the previously unidentified explosion was caused by "the detonation of a torpedo."    

The DPRK has denied involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.  

The Cheonan, which carried 104 crew members, sank on March 26 in waters off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, which was the scene of two deadly naval skirmishes over the past decade.

The warship sank after an unexplained blast split the ship in half. Fourty-six sailors were killed.    

The ROK government formed a joint probe involving civilian, military and foreign experts, and the results were expected to be released on Thursday.