Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Obama slams N Korea on ship sinking

President Barack Obama shakes hands with President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea (AP)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with President Lee Myung-Bak of South Korea (AP)

US President Barack Obama has said that North Korea must be "held to account" for its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship, a tough statement of support for an ally and made at its leader's side.

Mr Obama also said his administration will launch talks with South Korea aimed at resolving remaining issues blocking the completion of a free trade agreement.

After talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on the sidelines of global summits in Toronto, the US president used some of his strongest language yet about the March sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan.

An independent report has found that the ship's sinking was caused by a North Korean torpedo.

"There has to be consequences for such irresponsible behaviour," Mr Obama said.

South Korea has already referred the ship sinking to the UN Security Council, which could adopt a resolution condemning the North for the sinking or issue a less stringent presidential statement. Mr Lee said he wants a "strongly worded" resolution.

"We will do all that we can to deter any acts of North Korean aggression levelled against us," said the South Korean leader.

Mr Obama added: "We stand foursquare behind him."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz