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UN - Security Council condemns recent sinking of Republic of Korea ship

The Security Council today condemned the recent sinking of a Republic of Korea (ROK) naval vessel, stressing the need to prevent further attacks both against the East Asian nation and in the region.

Forty-six people onboard the Cheonan ship died when it was sunk in late March. Seoul released the findings of an international report in May that concluded that the vessel was hit by a torpedo launched by its neighbour, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“The Security Council condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan,” the 15-member body said in a statement read out by Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu of Nigeria, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for this month.

It added that such an incident “endangers peace and security in the region and beyond.”

The Council expressed its deep concern over the findings of the international report, but noted that the DPRK has “stated that it had nothing to do with the incident.”

Welcoming the restraint showed by the ROK, the Council stressed the importance of maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as in all of North-East Asia.

The Council encouraged “the settlement of outstanding issues on the Korean peninsula by peaceful means to resume direct dialogue and negotiation through appropriate channels as early as possible, with a view to avoiding conflicts and averting escalation.”

It urged the DPRK to fulfil its commitments under the now-suspended Six-Party Talks which sought to resolve the crisis over the country’s nuclear programme.

The Talks – bringing together the DPRK, the ROK, Japan, China, Russia and the United States –have been stalled for more than one year.

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