Posted November. 29, 2010 11:23,
The (North) Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary Saturday, It is extremely regrettable if civilian casualties occurred in the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.
"But the blame should be on the inhumane act of the enemy (South Korea), who formed human shields by deploying civilians around artillery nests and within military facilities, while preparing for the latest aggression (on North Korea).
The commentary added, The opponents shells indiscriminately flowed into sites near civilian homes (in North Korea) that are far away from our gun nests.
This was the first time for the North to mention civilian casualties in its artillery attack on Yeonpyeong, and the move is seen as Pyongyangs effort to dodge international condemnation for its action.
A Seoul official said, It is uncommon for North Korea to use the expression regret, but the comments were made by a media organization, not North Korean authorities, and they cannot be construed as being sincere.
The South Korean military also issued a news release saying, The Norths mentioning of human shields and regret meant to blame the South, let alone the North Korea authorities concerned apologizing, is merely an attempt to justify its inhumane aggression and constitutes an insult to our people and military. We can never forget that.