Defense committee condemns Pyongyang

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Defense committee condemns Pyongyang

The National Assembly’s defense committee yesterday passed a resolution strongly condemning Pyongyang for attacking the warship Cheonan and demanding an apology.

The move follows recent resolutions in the U.S. House of Representatives and the European Parliament that condemned North Korea for attacking the South Korean warship and killing 46 naval soldiers.

Without a vote, the 12 members of the National Defense Committee, including seven from the Grand National Party, four from the Democratic Party and one from the Liberty Forward Party, passed the resolution that blamed North Korea for the March 26 attack on the Navy corvette. There were no objections to sending the bill to the main floor.

The ruling Grand National Party has been seeking to adopt an official resolution condemning Pyongyang for the March 26 attack, while Democratic Party legislators have argued that lawmakers should take more time to further review the case.

The resolution called the attack on the ship a clear military provocation that violated the Korean War armistice and demanded a “wholehearted apology,” punishment for those responsible, compensation for victims’ families and a promise that there would be no recurrence of such acts.

“We welcome the government’s actions and urge it to take strong responses, including military and non-military means,” read the resolution, whose wording may be changed before the final vote.

The final vote on the National Assembly’s main floor is expected to take place on Monday.

South Korea’s military-civilian joint investigative team concluded that Pyongyang sunk the ship with a torpedo, and announced the results of its probe on May 20.

On June 4, Seoul took the case to the UN Security Council in a bid to make the international body officially reprimand Pyongyang, which has vehemently denied the charge.

While the diplomatic battle between the two Koreas raged in and out of the UN, the European Parliament on June 16 adopted a resolution that supported Seoul’s investigation and urged China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to “exert influence on North Korea.” The resolution also expressed “regrets” that Russia has not taken a clear position on the incident.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives also adopted a resolution that addressed a need for “safeguarding the stability of the Korean Peninsula” in the wake of “North Korea’s sinking of the South Korean naval ship.” The bill was introduced by New York Congressman Charles Rangel.


By Jung Ha-won [hawon@joongang.co.kr]

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