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S Korea hopes naval clash not leave negative impact on inter-Korean ties
Latest Updated at 2009-November-12 09:07:55
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South Korea on Wednesday (Nov 11)聽said it hopes that an earlier inter-Korean naval skirmish would not leave any negative impact on the relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.

The government will continue to make every preparation against any possible security problems so the people will not have to fear, but in principle, it does not want the inter-Korean relationship to deteriorate due to the incident, Kim Eun-hye, the spokeswoman of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, told a press briefing.

The government does not want the incident to become a stumbling block to the improvement of the inter-Korean relations, she added.

Seoul has yet drawn a final conclusion on whether the naval clash was an "accidental event" or an "intended move". The nature of the incident should be further observed, a senior official of Cheong Wa Dae was quoted by local media as saying.

South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s naval boats exchanged fire off west coast of the Korean Peninsula near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) area Tuesday morning. The two sides blamed each other for the clash.

President Lee Myung-bak convened an emergency security meeting immediately after receiving the report of the clash, to analyze the incident and make assessment on the impact it will have on inter-Korean relations.

Lee also called Defense Minister Kim Tae-young before the meeting, instructing the military to react decisively but also remain calm to make sure the situation will not get worse.

Following the meeting, Seoul decided to calmly response to the naval clash and maintain the existing exchanges and cooperation between the two sides on the current level if there are not any further provocative moves by the DPRK side.

The government currently is not taking any restrictive measures, such as minimizing the number of visitors to the DPRK and other artificial control measures, under consideration, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said on late Tuesday.

South Korea and the DPRK clashed near the NLL area twice previously, in June 1999 and November 2004.

Pyongyang has not accepted the NLL which was fixed unilaterally by the U.S.-led United Nations Command after the Korean War (1950-1953), but Seoul holds the NLL as the de-facto western inter-Korean border.

Editor: Miranda

By: Source: China View website

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