Tags: Hillary | tensions | Koreas | east

Tensions Mount in Koreas as Hillary Rebukes North

Sunday, 02 May 2010 09:01 AM

TOKYO — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton harshly condemned North Korea on Friday for a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean Navy warship last March, and promised to marshal an international response in the coming week with Japan, China and other countries.

“I think it is important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences,” she said after meeting here with the Japanese foreign minister, Katsuya Okada. “We cannot allow this attack on South Korea to go unanswered by the international community.”

Mrs. Clinton declined to lay out the potential options for a response, saying that would be premature. But she left little doubt that the United States would undertake an intensive diplomatic effort to craft a response to the sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors and was one of the biggest military provocations on the Korean Peninsula since the Korean War.

Among the options being considered by South Korean and American officials is a United Nations Security Council resolution, and joint naval exercises with South Korea that could include anti-submarine warfare operations. South Korea may also cut off its remaining trade with the North.

“Let me be clear: this will not, and cannot be, business as usual,” Mrs. Clinton said, speaking in solemn tones. “There must be an international, not just a regional, but an international response.”

The mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula have roiled what had been planned as three days of economic and security talks between China and the United States next week in Beijing.

Now, those discussions are likely to be dominated by how far the United States can push China to support an international move against North Korea. The Chinese government reacted to the reports of Pyongyang’s involvement with extreme skepticism, angering many people in South Korea.

But Mrs. Clinton said South Korea’s investigation, which was aided by the United States and other countries, was thorough, scientific, and found the evidence “overwhelming and condemning.”

Both she and Mr. Okada said the tension underlined the importance of the American-Japanese alliance, and the presence of American troops on Japanese soil. But the two governments have not yet resolved a lengthy dispute over the relocation of a Marine base on the island of Okinawa.

Negotiations were continuing, Mr. Okada said, and the Japanese government was sticking to its timetable of resolving the matter by the end of the month. Mrs. Clinton said the United States sought a solution that was “operationally viable and politically sustainable.”

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TOKYO — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton harshly condemned North Korea on Friday for a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean Navy warship last March, and promised to marshal an international response in the coming week with Japan, China and other countries.
Hillary,tensions,Koreas,east
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2010-01-02
Sunday, 02 May 2010 09:01 AM
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