DPRK ambassador to Russia calls Cheonan report 'falsification'

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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) ambassador to Russia denied in Moscow Thursday the country had any connection to the sinking of South Korean corvette the "Cheonan" in March, saying South Korean's report on the incident was a "falsification".

Kim Yong Jae told a press conference the "so-called final report" released by a joint U.S.-South Korean commission "is another falsification... trying to artificially link the death of the corvette to DPRK."

The U.S. and South Korea had conducted joint naval exercises "one after another" while unfolding an international campaign to impose new sanctions against the DPRK, he said.

He also accused the joint commission of refusing to allow a North Korean inspection team to review the evidence and read out the DPRK's own investigation results about the incident made by the National Defense Commission (NDC).

On March 26, the 1,200-ton Cheonan with 104 crew members on board sank near the maritime border with the DPRK after an unexplained explosion. Only 58 sailors survived.

South Korean investigators released the results of the investigation on May 20, saying the Cheonan was sunken by a torpedo belonging to the DPRK.

In response, a spokesman for the DPRK's National Defense Commission issued a statement on May 20 rejecting South Korea's allegations and asking to send an inspection group to South Korea to verify material evidence. However, South Korea rejected that request.

On Nov.2, the DPRK's NDC published a statement that cited analysis by foreign experts and media that challenged the South's investigation results, detailing 12 aspects including aluminum alloy fragments, the propelling body, torpedo design, the writing style of "No. 1," and the course of channel style infiltration.

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