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North Korea condemns South over warship claims

By the CNN Wire Staff
South Korean soldiers participate in a drill against possible threats from North Korea in Seoul on May 28.
South Korean soldiers participate in a drill against possible threats from North Korea in Seoul on May 28.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • North Korea denies claim it torpedoed warship
  • Pyongyang says South Korea fabricated evidence
  • China, Japan, South Korea address crisis at meeting

(CNN) -- A North Korean official has questioned South Korea's credibility for its rhetoric and actions over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, state-run media in North Korea reported Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Pak Rim Su lashed out against the South for saying the North Koreans sank the Cheonan warship, a claim fiercely denied by his communist government. He said the evidence produced by South Korea to make its claim has been fabricated.

He said South Korea has aggravated what has become a grave situation, and he warned that any accidental confrontation between the countries would result in war, according to an article in the state-run Korean Central News Agency. He cited North Korea's "nuclear deterrent" to deal with such situations.

Pak spoke at a rare press conference from the country on Friday. He addressed Korean and foreign reporters and representatives of military attaches at foreign embassies and international organizations, the North Korean news agency reported.

Video: Clinton: Ship attack 'unacceptable'
Video: China-South Korea talks over sunken ship
RELATED TOPICS
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Cheonan

China, Japan and South Korea plan to discuss the warship's sinking this weekend. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has that his country will not defend whoever is responsible for sinking the South Korean warship. He also said that China is not ready to accept South Korea's conclusion that the North is to blame.

China meets with South Korea

South Korea says a North Korean mini-sub fired torpedoes at the Cheonan South Korean Navy ship, killing 46 people. Pak says South Korea cooked up the claim, and he called their investigations a farce.

He said that the involvement of the United States shows that the probe couldn't be objective.

Why are the two Koreas so hostile?

Pak said people who disagreed with the investigators' assertions were expelled from the investigation team. He said the changes in investigation results as the case moved forward cast suspicion on the review, according to the state-run news agency's account.

For example, the North Koreans say, the warship captain said at first there wasn't outside provocation but later said there was. And they say the military said at first there were no grounds to say it was an attack by the North but later changed that viewpoint.

The North Koreans say the South is attempting to undermine efforts to promote reconciliation and North Korea's progress. They argue that the claim has served to rally conservative forces in South Korea and help them politically in upcoming elections.

 
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