Created: 9/24/1996

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NORTH KOREA: Demanding Keturn of Subrnarine ind Crew

The Ministry of People's Armed Forces yesterday clairned the "small training submarine" that ran aground off South Korea's cast coast last Tuesday had engine trouble after leaving port oneptember and drifted toward Kangnung. P'yongyang said the crew had no choice but to abandon ship for the "enemy side'sven though it "might cause an armed conflict."

The single captured crewman saidmeter Sango submarine encountered mechanical problems after it arrived in the Kangnung area, according lo press reports.

P'yongyang '< UaJementriven by its lack of knowledge of what documents and equipment ike crew failed lo destroy and what information the captured crewman has provided. It will want to be positioned ta discount as fabricated any evidence the Soulh eventually releases.

A South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman said the statement waa "nonsense" and part of Pyongyang's "habitually deceitful policy" to defuse criticism, lawmakers yesterdayesolution demanding tighter security and international cooperation to deter North Korean aggression.

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