The Korea Herald


‘N.K. will never admit ship sinking’

By 김경호

Published : April 7, 2011 - 09:09

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North Korea remains adamant that it will never apologize for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship last year, according to an academic who visited the communist nation this month.

South Korea says the North must admit it torpedoed the Cheonan with the loss of 46 lives before dialogue can resume to ease months of tensions.

“North Korea says it cannot apologize for what it has not done and this position will not change even after 100 years or 1,000 years pass,” said Park Han-shik, a Korean professor at the University of Georgia in the U.S.

He was speaking to the South’s Yonhap news agency in Beijing on Tuesday after an eight-day visit to Pyongyang.

The North angrily denies responsibility for the ship’s sinking near the disputed West Sea border in March 2010.

Tensions rose further when its troops shelled a South Korean border island last November, killing four people including civilians.

“The North has the stance that as long as the South continues demanding an apology for the Cheonan issue as a precondition for dialogue, it won’t be able to come to dialogue,” added Park, who has reportedly visited the North more than 50 times.

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak last Friday reiterated that Pyongyang must accept blame for both incidents before any dialogue. The North says its island shelling attack was provoked by a South Korean drill.