North Korea Says US Partly Responsible For Shelling Incident
NOVEMBER 24, 2010, 10:24 P.M. ET.
SEOUL (AFP)--North Korea said Thursday the United States is partly to blame for an outbreak of artillery fire which killed four South Koreans on a border island this week and sparked global alarm.
Washington is at fault for its role in drawing the "illegal" sea border in the aftermath of the 1950-53 Korean War, a Pyongyang military representative said in a message to the U.S. military.
"The West Sea of Korea (Yellow Sea) has become a flashpoint where the risk of confrontation and clashes between the North and the South is persistent just because the U.S. unilaterally drew the illegal Northern Limit Line," the official news agency quoted the message as saying.
"Therefore, the U.S. can never evade responsibility for the recent exchange of fire."
The agency said the North's military representative at the border truce village of Panmunjom was responding to U.S. charges that the North's attack breached the armistice in force since the war.
The North refuses to recognize the Northern Limit Line drawn by U.S.-led United Nations forces at the end of the war. It demands that the line be redrawn further south.
The disputed border was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.
The North says South Korea was to blame for Tuesday's exchange of fire because its forces fired into the North's maritime territory, a charge denied by Seoul.