Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, upped the ante in the crisis on the Korean Peninsula yesterday, calling on the rest of the world to co-operate in a “strong but measured response” to Pyongyang for its alleged attack on a South Korean gunboat.
Speaking in the South Korean capital Seoul, Mrs Clinton called the evidence “overwhelming” and the conclusion “inescapable.”
“The international community has a responsibility and a duty to respond,” she said, as defectors in the city warned that Pyongyang is preparing for war.
Pyongyang calls the results of an investigation into the March 26 sinking of the South Korean Cheonan gunboat a “fabrication” and warned it will retaliate against attempts to impose sanctions. North Korean sources in Japan and Seoul blame the sinking, which killed 46 sailors, on a friendly-fire incident involving a US submarine.
But last week's report by a team of international investigators said there was “clear and definitive evidence” linking Pyongyang to the attack.
Mrs Clinton failed to persuade China — Pyongyang's sole ally in the region — to condemn the North or back sanctions during two days of talks in Beijing.