Pastor Han Says Lee “Responsible” for Cheonan

Pastor Han Sang Ryeol, whose position is stated as “Standing Advisor of the Korean Alliance of Progressive Movements” and who is visiting North Korea illegally now to take part in events celebrating the June 15 Joint Declaration, held a press conference on Tuesday in Pyongyang during which he denounced the South Korean administration and said South Korean President Lee Myung Bak was “responsible” for the Cheonan sinking.

Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Han as saying, “Although the incumbent South Korean administration has not said it explicitly renounces the June 15 Joint Declaration, it is with Vision 3000: Denuclearization and Openness or something similar that they renounce it.”

He continued, “This year, the 10th anniversary of the issuing of the Joint Declaration, it has blocked executive preparatory contacts between North and South for the event,” and added, “This was aimed at destroying the event and the Joint Declaration.”

According to an AP report, Han also asserted about the Cheonan sinking, “One thing is clear, and that is that Lee Myung Bak is to blame for the incident.”

Han confirmed that he intends to return to the South on August 15th, the day of Korea’s independence from Japanese rule.

The government in Seoul has prohibited South Koreans from visiting North Korea to participate in the 10th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration events this year, but Han entered North Korea on the 12th without official approval.