UN condemns warship sinking, N Korea not blamed directly
United Nations: The UN Security Council
today condemned the sinking of a South Korean warship in March
that killed 46 sailors, but in a concession to China it did
not directly blame North Korea, which was found to be culpable
in the attack by an international probe.
A statement approved by all 15 council members said it
condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan
and calls for appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken
against those responsible, for the incident.
The council expressed "deep concern" over findings by
a South-Korean-led panel of inquiry that North Korea had sunk
the naval ship, but noted that Pyongyang had denied
Due to pressure from China, the declaration is more
watered down than what the U.S., Japan and South Korea
originally hoped for.
Beijing was against a direct condemnation or passing
another set of sanctions against its neighbour.
The resolution, which has been agreed to by the
permanent five members of the Security Council along with
South Korea and Japan, mentions the investigation, but does
not directly condemn North Korea.
The results of a South Korea-led international
investigation, made public in May, found North Korea
responsible for torpedoing its ship.
Following the passage of the statement, which is
weaker than an earlier resolution, the US rejected claims that
the muted criticism in the text was a victory for North Korea.
"The message to North Korean leadership is crystal
clear," said US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice.
"The Security Council condemns and deplores this
attack, it warns against any further attacks and insists on
full adherence to the Korean Armistice Agreement? -- the
agreement ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
"The investigative team concluded that the Cheonan was
sunk by a North Korean torpedo fired by a North Korean
submarine, Rice added.
This conclusion is reflected in the council statement
of `deep concern.`"
On June 4, South Korea sent a letter to the Security
Council asking it to respond to North Korea`s military
Since the letter was received, the P5 (China, France,
Russia, U.K. and U.S.) plus two (Japan and South Korea) have
been meeting in closed door consultations.
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