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N. Korea slams Park's Cheonan speech

By 이다영

Published : March 29, 2015 - 22:22

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North Korea blasted South Korean President Park Geun-hye Sunday over her recent speech made at a ceremony to mark Pyongyang's torpedoing of a South Korean corvette in 2010 that killed 46 sailors.

Speaking on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy Wednesday, Park said she "hopes North Korea abandons its reckless provocations and belief that nuclear weapons can protect the country." She, however, did not directly accuse the North of downing the South Korean ship Cheonan in the speech.

She was paying tribute to the fallen sailors with some 5,000 people, including the bereaved families. The memorial service tookplace at Daejeon National Cemetery, 164 kilometers south of Seoul.

In a report carried by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the North's National Defense Commission (NDC) said Park's speech "incited confrontation with the DPRK," using the acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  

On March 26, 2010, the 1,200-ton Cheonan sank near the western maritime border with North Korea, killing nearly half of the 104 sailors on board. A South Korean-led investigation, including experts from the United States, Australia, Britain and Sweden, concluded that the corvette was attacked by a North Korean torpedo, but Pyongyang has denied any responsibility.

The KCNA quoted an unnamed spokesman for the NDC's policy department as saying that Park's insistence on the North's involvement "will bring stronger curse and denunciation to the regime."

A set of economic sanctions on the North, dubbed the "May 24th Measure," was imposed after the Cheonan incident. The Park administration says the North should come clean about its responsibility if it wants to have the sanctions lifted. (Yonhap)