Pyongyang shouts at Seoul, but demand for money is louder.

Friday, November 13, 2009 (KCNA):

The head of the north side delegation to the North-South General-Level Military Talks on Friday sent the following notice to the south side, clarifying the truth behind the recent armed provocation in the West Sea and the principled stand of the Korean People’s Army on it in connection with the south side’s sophism making profound confusion of right and wrong over the incident:

It is the politically motivated shameless provocation to resort to a futile military adventure to preserve the illegal “northern limit line” still today when the times have changed.

Warships of the navy of the south Korean forces described the exercise of the right to self-defence by a patrol boat of the north side as “an act of trespassing on the above-said line” and preempted the firing of direct sighting shots and “shots aimed at destroying it”, not “warning shots” though they were well aware that the patrol boat and its crew sailed to confirm an unidentified object. This was an inexcusable deliberate and open military provocation.

The rash action perpetrated by them, firing thousands of bullets and shells with several warships involved at a time was a premeditated action of the rightwing conservative forces and bellicose military group of the south side to stem the trend of the situation on the Korean Peninsula which has shown a sign of detente through the third skirmish in the West Sea.

Upon the authorization, I notify the south side of the following principled stand of the KPA on the gravity of the incident:

1. The south side should make an apology to the nation for orchestrating the recent incident and putting it into practice and take a proper measure to promptly punish the prime movers of the incident as maniacs of confrontation with fellow countrymen and harassers of peace.

2. The south side should behave with discretion as required by the times and the desire of the nation, clearly mindful that its stand to preserve the “northern limit line” no longer works.

3. Reminding again that there exists in the West Sea of Korea only the extension of the Military Demarcation Line in the waters set by the KPA side, it will take merciless military measures to defend the extension from this moment.

4. The south side will be held fully accountable for having disturbed the reconciliation and unity of the nation and hamstrung the efforts to achieve peace and reunification and have to pay a dear price for them.

Just one day later–from the Associated Press:

A North Korean cargo ship entered South Korean waters Saturday — a sign that trade has been unaffected by a recent deadly naval clash off their western coasts, an official said.

The ship dropped anchor west of Seoul just one a day after North Korea’s military threatened to “take merciless military measures to defend” itself and warned that South Korea would be forced to pay a heavy price for the recent firefight over their disputed maritime border.

A Unification Ministry spokesman says, however, that neither side has taken any measures to restrict inter-Korean trade — one of few legitimate sources of foreign currency for the impoverished communist North.

The naval skirmish was the first in seven years and came ahead of a trip to Seoul by President Barack Obama, who arrives Wednesday. A senior South Korean military officer said one North Korean officer died in the fight and three others were wounded. South Korea suffered no casualties.

South Korea responded by putting its 680,000-member military on guard, though officials said they have seen no evidence of unusual North Korean moves.

The cargo ship, delivering silica to a South Korean company, passed through the disputed border Saturday and is scheduled to enter Incheon port on Monday, said a Port Authority official. He asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media.

The decision to permit the North Korean ship entry was made before the clash, Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said. North Korean ships have docked 35 times at the port the in the first nine months of the year, according to the Port Authority.

South Korea is the No. 2 trading partner of North Korea, with trade volume reaching $1.1 billion in the first nine months of this year, according to the Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

“Silica” is silicon dioxide, and it is more commonly known as sand.  Read past posts about the DPRK – RoK trade in sand here.

UPDATE: According to the Washington Examiner:

The ship unloaded 1,750 tons of silica at Incheon Port, west of Seoul, and sailed back to the North later Monday, according to port official Lee Jin-wu. The ship departed from a North Korean port last Thursday, two days after the neighboring countries clashed along their disputed western sea border.


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