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S. Korea Suspends Trade with N. Korea
Monday, May 24, 2010
South Korea has frozen trade with North Korea, following a suspected North Korean torpedo attack that killed 46 South Koreans when it struck the Cheonan in March.
"Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless," President Lee Myung-bak said, according to The BBC. "I solemnly urge North Korean authorities to do the following: Apologise immediately to the Republic of Korea and the international community."
The White House backed President Lee's statement and demanded that North Korea also punish those responsible for the attack, and stop its belligerent and threatening behaviour. "U.S. support for South Korea's defence is unequivocal, and the president has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their Republic of Korea counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression," the White House statement said.
In Beijing today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked China, one of North Korea's closest allies, to back South Korea's response to the alleged torpedo attack. "We ask North Korea to stop its provocative behaviour...and comply with international law," Secretary of State Clinton said, according to The BBC. Last week, China asked North and South Korea to refrain from conflict.
7:00 PM UPDATE: The Pentagon announced it's going to conduct joint military exercises with South Korea off its coast, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the evidence against North Korea "overwhelming and deeply troubling." Ban predicted the U.N. Security Council will take measures against North Korea.
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