ASEAN has `deep concern` over S Korea ship sinking

ASEAN expresses "deep concern" at the sinking of a South Korean warship, says a draft document which fails to assign blame.

Hanoi: Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) expressed "deep concern" at the sinking of a South Korean warship, says a draft document which fails to assign blame.
"We expressed deep concern over the sinking of (the) ship Cheonan and the rising tension on the Korean peninsula," says the draft ahead of the 10 foreign ministers` annual talks, which begin in Vietnam on Monday.

The discussions culminate on Friday in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia-Pacific`s largest security dialogue which will be attended by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

South Korea has said it wants ARF to condemn North Korea for the torpedo attack which broke the corvette in two in March with the loss of 46 lives. Pyongyang vehemently denies involvement despite the findings of a multinational investigation, and says it is ready to retaliate if it is punished.

Foreign ministers of North and South Korea as well as from Japan, Russia, China and Europe are among those expected at the ARF meeting.

Bureau Report

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