New York: UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday voiced hope that a prompt UN Security Council response to the sinking of a South Korean warship will spur resumption of six-way talks on North Korea`s nuclear program.
"I do hope that the council`s prompt action will also contribute to the early resumption of the six-party talks to address nuclear issues and other outstanding concerns," he told a press conference.
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has said Seoul will refer the March 26 attack -- which killed 46 sailors -- to the UN Security Council for punishment.
Ban said it was particularly deplorable that the incident took place "at a time when the six-party talks and international efforts towards a denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula remain stalled”.
Noting that "such an unacceptable act by the DPRK" runs counter to international efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, the UN boss said he was confident that the 15-member Security Council "will take measures appropriate to the gravity of the situation”.
"This incident is a stark reminder of the urgency of securing peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," he added.
Earlier yesterday, South Korea also halted trade with North Korea as part of a package of reprisals for the sinking of one of its warships, drawing strong US support but threats of attack from the communist state.