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Seoul spurns Pyongyang’s call for joint drone probe

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Published : 2014-04-15 21:19
Updated : 2014-04-15 21:19

The South Korean government on Tuesday rejected North Korea’s request to conduct a joint investigation into drones that were believed to have sent by Pyongyang on spying missions.

“There is no case of a criminal suspect investigating (his) own crime,” a presidential official told reporters.

“Investigations are already underway to discover scientific (evidence) that would hold North Korea fully responsible,” he said, requesting anonymity.

The remark came shortly after the North blamed the South for fabricating the drone case and shifting responsibility to the North. 
This March 24 photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jung-un looking at an object similar to the wing of a drone (right) found in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on the same day. ( Yonhap)

The North’s National Defense Commission also urged the South to hold joint investigations into the drone case as well as others including the sinking of a South Korean warship.

In 2010, the South Korean corvette Cheonan sank near the Yellow Sea border with North Korea, killing 46 South Korean sailors. A team of international investigators concluded that the warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo attack. Denying responsibility for the attack, the North offered to participate in the joint investigation but the South rejected the offer.

“It is an inveterate bad habit of the South Korean authorities to cook up shocking cases and kick up anti-(North Korean) confrontation hysteria by linking those cases with (North Korea),” the commission said in an English-language statement carried by the country’s official Korean Central News Agency.

The Defense Ministry in Seoul released its interim report on the drones Friday, saying that the three unmanned aerial vehicles that crashed in parts of South Korea were from the North.

But Seoul officials only cited circumstantial evidence, including pictures of South Korean military facilities taken by cameras attached to the drones.

The ministry vowed to continue the drone investigation to produce conclusive evidence that proves the North’s involvement.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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