Pyongyang delays US military talks

North Korea postpones meeting set to discuss deadly sinking of South Korean warship.

    Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in the March 26 explosion and sinking of the Cheonan [AFP]

    An international investigation in May concluded that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the Cheonan near the tense and disputed Korean sea border in late March.

    Retaliation warning

    Pyongyang flatly denies it was responsible and has warned any retaliation would trigger war.

    The UN Command, which oversees an armistice that halted the Korean War in 1953, separately investigated if the sinking violated the truce, but the findings have not been disclosed.

    in depth

     

    Q&A: Tensions on the Korean peninsula
      Your Views: North and South Korea
      Video: S Korea urged to toughen stance
      Video: S Korea vows action over sinking
      Focus: North Korea, a state of war
      Background: China's Korean balancing act 

    Late last month, the command proposed military talks with North Korea to review its findings and initiate dialogue.

    The North at first rejected the offer, criticising the US for trying to meddle in inter-Korean affairs under the name of the UN. But it reversed its position last week and proposed working-level talks at Panmunjom to prepare for higher-level talks by general officers on the sinking.

    The UN Security Council approved a statement on Friday that condemned the sinking of the Cheonan, but stopped short of directly blaming North Korea.

    The next day, the North said it would make efforts to resume stalled disarmament talks on its nuclear programme and conclude a peace treaty that could formally end the Korean War, a sign that the government could live with the council's presidential statement.

    PJ Crowley, a spokesman for the US state department, said on Monday that North Korea must stop provocative actions and show a willingness to abide by past disarmament pledges before the US will agree to resume long-stalled six-nation talks meant to rid North Korea of its nuclear programme in return for aid.

    "We are not willing to talk for the sake of talking," Crowley said.

    The US stations 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the Korean War, which ended in an armistice that has never been replaced with a permanent peace treaty.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.