КНДР обвинила США и Сеул в осуществлении провокаций в отношении туристов и журналистов в приграничной буферной зоне.
КНДР потребовала прекратить туры в этой т.н. «демилитаризованной зоне».
P.S. В деле об инциденте в Жёлтом море появилась ещё одна версия – о корейских (японских) «камикадзе». Версия Пхеньяна.
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea accused the United States and South Korea on Monday of creating provocations by allowing tourists and journalists into the heavily armed buffer zone that has divided the Korean Peninsula since the armistice signed more than a half century ago.
In a statement reported by news agencies, the North demanded an end to the tours in the so-called demilitarized zone, calling them part of a pattern of «psychological warfare» and warning of «unpredictable incidents including the loss of human lives in this area for which the U.S. side will be wholly to blame».
While North Korean statements of belligerence are routine, the warning came as tensions in the Korean Peninsula were already high over the mysterious sinking of a South Korean naval patrol ship near the disputed border with the North on Friday. Hopes were dimming for 46 missing sailors of the 1,200-ton vessel, the Cheonan.
The North Korean warning said nothing of the ship’s sinking. South Korea has not ruled out North Korean sabotage of the vessel, and President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea has ordered an investigation.
No new survivors, nor any bodies, have been found since 58 of the ship’s 104 sailors were plucked from the water alive on Friday evening. Relatives of the missing sailed overnight aboard a military ship, arriving at the scene of the sinking on Sunday.
«I heard a terrible explosion and the ship keeled suddenly to the right. We lost power and telecommunications», Choi Won-il, captain of the Cheonan, told the relatives. «I was trapped in the cabin for five minutes before my colleagues broke the window in and let me out. When I got out, the stern had already broken away and disappeared underwater».
Most of those missing were believed to have been trapped inside their rapidly sinking ship as waters gushed into their dark underdeck, officials said.
«Many sailors were hanging onto the bow of the sinking ship», Kim Jin-ho, a crewman on a civilian ferry to Baengnyeong, a South Korean border island, told YTN television, describing the rescue scene on Friday night. «They were shouting for help. They were falling into water».
Regardless whether North Korea was involved, the vessel’s sinking reawakened South Koreans’ worst fears about the North Korean military. Ubiquitous propaganda billboards in North Korea’s cities and towns exhort its soldiers to turn themselves into kamikaze-like «human bomb» when war breaks out.
Some family members of the ship’s crew theorized that the Cheonan was rundown and in need of repair, an assertion that the military publicly denied.
Relatives were seen yelling «Liars!» and kicking the car carrying Captain Choi after his briefing.
The ship was on a routine patrol mission in the Yellow Sea when it sank near Baengnyeong, eight miles from the North Korean coast and 120 miles from the South Korean mainland.
The sinking is one of South Korea’s worst peacetime naval disasters. In 1974, a navy landing ship capsized off the south coast in stormy weather, killing 159 sailors and coast guard personnel. In 1967, 39 sailors were killed when North Korean shore guns pounded a South Korean Navy ship off the east coast.
Military accidents get special scrutiny here, since North and South Korea are still in an official state of war. All eligible South Korean men serve in the military.
The waters in the disputed western sea near the Koreas make up the most volatile section of the border. North Korea rejects a maritime demarcation line drawn by the United Nations at the end of the war. The two sides engaged in naval clashes in 1999 and 2002. In November, naval patrol boats from the North and South exchanged fire after a North Korean boat crossed the disputed sea border.