United Nations: The Obama administration has said that it is waiting for a signal from South Korea to push for a UN Security Council resolution against North Korea in connection with sinking of a naval ship that killed 46 sailors in April near the disputed maritime border of the two countries.
"The United States` support for South Korea is strong and unwavering across the system. South Korea has indicated that it will bring this issue to the attention of the (UN) Security Council at the appropriate time and we await South Korea`s decision as to when and how it will bring this to the Council," US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told reporters.
Results of an investigation, South Korea made public last week, claimed that Cheonan naval ship was torpedoed by North Korea.
Following the announcement, the government of Kim Jong-II threatened "all out war" if the matter was pushed and yesterday the Korean News Agency reported that North Korea had threatened to cut off all contact with its neighbour.
Meanwhile on her visit to China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has enlisted its support to punish North Korea but Beijing, which has veto power, remains non-committal to the proposal to punish its neighbour and ally.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has been personally impacted by the incident in his native South Korea, has underlined his support for action against North Korea.
"This is one of the most serious, I believe, provocations in recent days. I have a very strong attachment and even a sense of responsibility.
"Now, serving as Secretary-General, this is most troubling for me to see what is happening in the Korean Peninsula - that`s my motherland," Ban told reporters.
At the same time, all the members of the Security Council are currently negotiating the text of the sanctions against Iran for its nuclear weapons programme, which the US and its allies assert violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency- the UN`s nuclear watchdog.
"I`m confident that we will be able to manage North Korea and Iran simultaneously if need be," Rice said.