China`s Hu offers S Korea condolences over warship blast

China`s president offered condolences on Friday to the families of 46 South Koreans killed in a warship blast near the tense inter-Korean border, as ships searched for any signs the North was to blame.

Seoul: China`s president offered
condolences on Friday to the families of 46 South Koreans killed
in a warship blast near the tense inter-Korean border, as
ships searched for any signs the North was to blame.

President Hu Jintao expressed sympathy before summit
talks with President Lee Myung-Bak on the sidelines of the
opening of the Shanghai World Expo.
"I also want to address the tragic loss of your
country`s warship. To those who died and to their families,
please let them know we grieve with them," Hu said, according
to a Chinese pool report.

Lee`s spokesman has said the sinking was expected to
be raised.

China, North Korea`s sole major ally and its key
source of food and energy, is seen as one of the few nations
able to put pressure on the North.

A mystery explosion ripped a 1,200-tonne South Korean
corvette the Cheonan apart on March 26 near the disputed
border.
South Korea has not openly blamed its communist
neighbour but suspicions of a North Korean torpedo attack are
growing.

Further souring relations, the North today ordered
some 40 South Korean staff to leave a jointly-run mountain
resort in protest at Seoul`s refusal to restart lucrative
tours there.

PTI