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N. Korea offers military talks with US over warship sinking.

North Korea on Friday proposed military talks with

the US next week to set up a higher-level meeting over the sinking of a South

Korean warship which Washington blames on Pyongyang. North Korea sent a proposal to the US military, calling for a working-level

contact between colonels at the border village of Panmunjeom on July 13 to

discuss setting up general-grade talks on the March sinking, the official

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. The North "still regards the opening of the North-South military talks as

the best way to address disputes" over the March 26 sinking of the patrol ship

Cheonan in the Yellow Sea, which killed 46 sailors, KCNA said. But the North

decided to hold talks with the US military to discuss Cheonan' case because

South Korea turned down its dialogue offer, it said. "This proposal is a manifestation of the unshakable will of the army and

people of (North Korea) to probe the truth behind the 'Cheonan' case in an

objective, scientific and fair way," it said. South Korea blamed North Korea for the deadly sinking, but the North has

denied involvement. Since late June, the US military offered to hold

general-level talks with North Korea to explain the outcome of a multinational

investigation that concluded a North Korean torpedo caused the sinking of the

ship. The proposal from the North was a counteroffer to the June proposal,

KCNA said. Friday's offer came as the UN Security Council was set to issue a

presidential statement condemning a torpedo attack on the warship, without

directly blaming the North.

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Date:Jul 9, 2010
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