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Pattaya Daily News

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21 May 2010 :: 15:05:14 pm 21295

Nth. Korea Hostile as Tension Mounts Over Naval Disaster

The South Korean government has announced that they would now respond “prudently” following overwhelming evidence to suggest that the North had been involved in the recent sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in which 46 sailors died.
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Korea, the 21st of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: In a rare emergency security meeting, the South Korean government announced on Thursday that they have got overwhelming evidence that a North Korean submarine had launched a torpedo that was responsible for the sinking of the ‘Cheonan’ Corvette. Salvage crews found parts of a North Korean built torpedo which struck the ‘Cheonan’ in the Yellow Sea causing it to sink. The South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has called the incident a “military provocation” by the North. Lee’s response to the investigations findings is expected to be announced early next week.

South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-young said that the south would work with the international community and the United States to come up with non-military sanctions against the reclusive communist state. Both South Korea and the United States are expected to raise their alert status on the North as tensions in the region continue to build.

North Korea’s only response at present has been in a typically defiant nature with the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland releasing a statement saying: “From this time on, we will regard the situation as a phase of war and will be responding resolutely to all problems in North-South relations. If the South puppet group comes out with ‘response’ and ‘retaliation’, we will respond strongly with ruthless punishment including the total shutdown of North-South ties, abrogation of the North-South agreement on non-aggression and abolition of all North-South cooperation projects.”

Since military retaliation has been ruled out by the South, apart from international sanctions, there is little else it can do. North Korea has frequently threatened to attack Seoul but analysts say that, in the face of a much better equipped South Korean army backed by some 28,000 U.S. troops on the peninsula, any major confrontation would be suicidal for the Pyongyang leadership.

The U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and spokesmen for the White House and the U.S. State Department chose their words carefully in their responses to the report stating; “Clearly this was a serious provocation by North Korea and there will definitely be consequences because of what North Korea has done.”

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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