Pyongyang accuses Seoul of creating confrontation

Park Geun Hye (centre) at a memorial ceremony at the Daejeon National Cemetery, to commemorate South Korean soldiers killed in the Yellow Sea during clashes with North Korea.
Park Geun Hye (centre) at a memorial ceremony at the Daejeon National Cemetery, to commemorate South Korean soldiers killed in the Yellow Sea during clashes with North Korea.PHOTO: EPA

PYONGYANG - North Korea on Saturday accused South Korean President Park Geun-hye's administration of "stirring up distrust, hostility and confrontation" between the two Koreas by marking the 6th anniversary of the Cheonan warship sinking, Xinhua news reported.

Park on Friday attended a ceremony marking the warship sinking incident in 2010, when the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan sank off the disputed western maritime border on the Yellow Sea, killing 46 soldiers among 104 on board the ill-fated warship.

Seoul said the corvette was sunk by torpedoes fired by North Korea, a charge repeatedly denied by Pyongyang. Seoul has designated the fourth Friday of March as a day to remember those who lost their lives in the incident.

Park, addressing the ceremony, warned that the North Korean government was acting self-destructively with its consistent provocations and called for the North to abandon its nuclear programmes.

Behind Seoul's claim that the battleship Cheonan was sunk by the North is "a sinister intention to turn inter-Korean relations into those of hostility and confrontation which can never be repaired," said a statement issued by an investigation group of North Korea's National Defense Commission.

The statement blamed the Park administration for asserting that all past incidents between the two Koreas were caused by the DPRK side, adding that the administration is "beating the drum of confrontation more noisily" in the prevailing situation.

Not long after the Cheonan incident, the South Korean government halted inter-Korean trade and aid projects, and banned South Koreans' visits to the North.