North Korea's military renewed its call for its own investigation into the March deadly sinking of a South Korean warship as it met on Thursday with the US-led UN Command for the first time since the incident raised tensions on the Korean peninsula.
An international investigation in May concluded a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the 1,200-ton Cheonan near the tense Korean sea border, killing 46 South Korean sailors.
At the talks, the North's officers stressed that Pyongyang's inspectors should be permitted to go to the site of the sinking to verify those results, according to state media. Seoul has so far rejected the North's request.
"Field investigation by an inspection group ... should precede under any circumstances to ensure the successful opening of the general-level talks," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch.
Colonel-level officers gathered on Thursday at the Korean border village of Panmunjom for about 90 minutes and discussed the hosting of higher-level talks to discuss the sinking, the UN Command said in a statement. The two sides agreed to hold the second round of colonel-level meeting in Panmunjom around July 20, KCNA said.