Tags: terror | ship | sinking | terror

US Says SKorea Ship Hit Not 'Terror'

Tuesday, 29 June 2010 05:07 AM

WASHINGTON — The United States considers the sinking last March allegedly by North Korea of a South Korean warship to be "provocative," but not an act of terrorism, a US State Department spokesman said.

"It is our judgment that the sinking of the Cheonan is not an act of international terrorism," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters.

The sinking of the warship Cheonan cost 46 lives and led to international condemnation against Pyongyang. Nevertheless, the US diplomatic spokesman said, it was not an act of terror.

"It was in our view a provocative action, but one taken by the military of a state against the military of another state. That in our view doesn't constitute an act of terrorism," Crowley said.

"It certainly is a violation of the existing armistice, and we're seeking a meeting with North Korean officials to discuss that," he added.

Crowley said that Washington nevertheless has "plenty of concerns about activity of North Korea in terms of its well established export of weapons and dangerous technology and know-how.

"We will not hesitate to take action if we think there are actions that North Korea has taken which do in fact demonstrate consistent support for international terrorism," he said.

South Korea in early June referred the sinking issue to the UN Security Council after a multinational investigation. The United States and most other Western nations have strongly backed Seoul in its effort to hold North Korea to account for the attack, as has Japan, though China and Russia have been more hesitant.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, 29 June 2010 05:07 AM
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