Clinton: N. Korea must face consequences for sinking of South Korean warship
SHANGHAI (AP) – Citing “overwhelming” evidence that North Korea sank a South Korean warship, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned the communist state Friday of international consequences.
After discussions in Tokyo, Clinton planned to consult with counterparts in Beijing and Seoul on appropriate measures to take after an international investigative team on Thursday blamed North Korea for firing a torpedo that sank the South Korean ship in March, killing 46 sailors.
“This will not be and cannot be business as usual. There must be an international – not just a regional, but an international – response,” she told a press conference in Tokyo, flanked by Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada. The subject has come to dominate her three-nation tour through Japan, China and South Korea.
The Chinese have the most leverage over the reclusive regime, and Beijing’s support for any international response to Pyongyang will be critical to its success. But China, North Korea’s main ally and a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, has thus far remained neutral.
While it was “premature” to discuss exact options or actions that will be taken, Clinton said it was “important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences.”