The measures include slashing trade with Pyongyang, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises off the western coast

China’s backing would be key to any bid to condemn or sanction North Korea for the March 26 torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. Beijing, a veto-wielding permanent Security Council member, so far has refrained from committing to Security Council action against Pyongyang, its neighbor and traditional ally.

China Cools to U.S. Calls for Support on Koreas

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will lay out the case against North Korea during talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a South Korean government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.

Wen and Lee were meeting at the presidential Blue House on Friday afternoon, a day before a three-way summit that will also include Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

«Both countries have built a relationship of strategic cooperative partnership, deepened political trust and have maintained various communication regarding the North Korean nuclear issue,» Wen said in opening remarks at the meeting.

Lee’s spokesman Park Sun-kyu said in a statement that South Korea was «fully concentrating on diplomatic efforts to hold North Korea responsible.» He said the matter would be discussed Friday, at the weekend summit and at a security meeting in Singapore in early June.

A multinational investigation concluded last week that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that tore apart and sank the Cheonan in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War.

North Korea has denied responsibility for the attack, and has warned that retaliation or punishment would mean war.

S. Korea: North to «Pay Price» for Sinking Ship

Tensions have soared since Lee laid out a series of punitive measures and pledged to haul Pyongyang before the U.N. Security Council. The measures include slashing trade with Pyongyang, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises off the western coast. U.S.-South Korean military drills are to follow in the coming months.

North Korea threatened Thursday to attack any South Korean ships entering its waters and scrapped an accord meant to prevent naval clashes. The North issued no new threats Friday, but kept up its rhetoric against the South.

Seoul’s countermeasures will «only precipitate its self-destruction as it is nothing but the last-ditch effort of those on the deathbed,» the government-run Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has carried out a series of attacks on the South since the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953. South Korea has never retaliated militarily.

U.S. Gen. Walter Sharp, the commander of U.N. forces on the peninsula, visited the heavily armed border area Friday to inspect forces and review responsibilities related to the armistice agreement with the commanders, according to a U.N. Command statement.

Any Security Council action would need the backing of key permanent member China. The South Korean official said dozens of nations have offered their support for Security Council action, but there was no indication yet that Beijing would back the South Korean-led bid.

He said China, mindful of its relations with both Koreas and the international community, can be expected to act deliberately and quietly. South Korean officials did not expect any Security Council action to happen before the end of the month, he said.

Senior U.S. officials said Wednesday that China had indicated it was prepared to hold the North accountable for the torpedo attack and could join in some kind of formal Security Council rebuke.

However, asked about Beijing’s stance Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu simply called the issue «highly complicated» and said China’s position remained unchanged.

Japan has already banned trade with the North and said Friday it will limit the amount of money that can be sent to North Korea without being reported to the government. Tokyo also said it will slash the amount of cash travelers can take into North Korea — an apparent bid to target funds funneled to the North by ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Separately, Hatoyama and President Barack Obama jointly condemned the March 26 attack in a phone call and vowed to cooperate with South Korea on Security Council action, the White House said.

Meanwhile, a report by U.N. experts said North Korea is exporting nuclear and 바카라 신규가입쿠폰 ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent U.N. sanctions.

A seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against Pyongyang said its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Myanmar, according to the report, obtained late Thursday by The Associated Press.


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