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S. Korea rejects N. Korea's call for joint inquiry into sinking

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • N. Korean ambassador rejects results of U.S.-S. Korea investigation
  • N. Korea proposes joint inquiry with S. Korea
  • S. Korea sticks by results of investigation with U.S.

United Nations (CNN) -- North Korea has called for a joint investigation with South Korea into the sinking of a South Korean navy vessel last March, but the proposal was quickly rejected by Seoul.

In a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council, the North Korean ambassador rejected the results of a U.S.-South Korean inquiry into the events of March 26, when the Cheonan went down in contested waters. That inquiry determined that the vessel sank because of a North Korean torpedo. Some 46 sailors died when the ship went down.

North Korean Ambassador Sin Son Ho insisted in the letter that his country had nothing to do with the incident.

Sin offered to send North Korea's own investigative team from its National Defense Commission. He went on to suggest that North and South Korea should work together on a joint investigation of the incident and asked for high-level military talks on the subject.

But South Korean Ambassador Park In-kook was quick to dismiss the suggestions. He sent his own letter to the president of the Security Council, expressing confidence in the results of the investigation conducted by the United States and South Korea.

Park also rejected the North Korean offer of high-level military talks. He said the mechanism for discussions between Seoul and Pyongyang has already been established. He added that South Korea has twice asked for talks on the incident through these pre-established channels, and was twice rebuffed by North Korea.

Additionally, Park said the sinking of the Cheonan was a violation of the 1953 Armistice Agreement and that North Korea is a threat to peace and stability on the peninsula.