U.N. Command, North Korea still not set for general-level Cheonan meeting
SEOUL — Officials from the United Nations Command and North Korea, who have met four times to plan for talks among generals from both sides regarding the March sinking of a South Korean warship, will need at least one more session to work out an agenda and protocols, a U.N. Command spokesman said Tuesday.
The colonels at a meeting Tuesday in Panmunjom did not discuss the barrage of artillery the North fired Monday into the Yellow Sea, which Koreans call the West Sea, as the South completed a naval exercise in the waters.
“That was not the purpose of the meeting,” said UNC spokesman David Oten, adding that both sides followed a previously set agenda.
North Korea fired approximately 110 shells into the Yellow Sea on Monday evening, the last day of a five-day South Korean military exercise near the area of the March sinking, according to a spokesman for the South Korean joint chiefs of staff. Most of the shells landed in North Korean waters, though 10 landed on the South Korean side of the disputed maritime demarcation line, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the shelling was believed to be part of an ongoing North Korean military exercise.
A South Korean-led investigation determined that a North Korean torpedo sank the patrol ship Cheonan in the Yellow Sea March 26, killing 46 crewmembers. North Korea has repeatedly denied involvement.
Both sides agreed to hold another colonel-level planning session but did not set a date, Oten said.