다음은 The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com 에
- ASIA NEWS
- MAY 19, 2010, 1:49 A.M. ET
Seoul to Blame North for Attack
Formal Report Will Cite Torpedo, Officials Say;
Clinton Due to Visit Region in Coming Days
as South Korea Forms Response
By JAY SOLOMON in Washington and EVAN RAMSTAD in Seoul
South Korea's foreign minister said Wednesday it was obvious that North Korea sank a South Korean warship and that a multinational investigation team would provide ample evidence to support the claim.
The Cheonan's stern was raised to probe the cause of its March sinking.
Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan made the remarks to journalists after speaking at business lunch. "We have enough evidence," Mr. Yu said in response to a question about whether South Korea could seek penalties at the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Yu made the remarks a day ahead of a formal announcement of the results of the investigation into the March sinking of the Cheonan, in which 46 South Korean sailors died.
Investigators from the U.S., Britain, Australia and Sweden have assisted Seoul in a probe of the Cheonan's wreckage, piecing together warship sections recovered last month in the Yellow Sea. "The investigation is going to say that the ship was sunk by a torpedo of North Korean origin," said a senior U.S. official working on Korean issues.
South Korean officials have told U.S. officials that the torpedo and its explosives are similar to a North Korean missile found nearly seven years ago. South Korean newspapers on Wednesday reported that investigators found a propeller with numbers in a lettering style that resembles one used in North Korea. A South Korean defense spokesman declined to comment on the reports.
Senior U.S. officials said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is scheduled to leave Thursday for a visit to the region, will raise the issue while in Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul.
The announcement presents a dilemma for both South Korea and its ally the U.S. Neither has shown any desire for a military response, but they have few levers for punishing the North. Seoul is likely to pull out of its few remaining economic projects with the North. The report will also strike a blow to already-stalled U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to persuade the North to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
U.S. officials said Washington wants to demonstrate a strong response to Pyongyang without risking a military escalation between the two Koreas.
Seoul is set to accuse North Korea of killing 46 sailors, mourned above in a late April service, in a torpedo attack.
President Lee Myung-bak's government is already laying the foundation to make a formal request for a resolution condemning North Korea at the United Nations Security Council, South Korean officials have said. Seoul is also planning to seek a new round of U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, which has been penalized twice in recent years for its nuclear-weapons program and related missile tests.
Seoul plans to brief dozens of foreign diplomats Wednesday on the probe's findings, South Korean officials say. Mr. Lee will make a national address next week, a spokesman said, adding that steps against North Korea will be unveiled in coming weeks.
Tensions between the Koreas have remained high since the Cheonan's sinking. On Sunday, a North Korean fishing boat and naval patrol boat crossed south of the inter-Korean maritime border. The fishing boat turned back after South Korea's military issued a radio warning. The military vessel returned only after a South Korean patrol boat fired two warning shots at it.
South Koreans have little stomach for a warlike action that would disrupt the economy or destabilize the North enough to require the South to step in. South Korea has stopped short of such a response to previous acts of aggression, including the 1987 explosion of a Korean Air jet near Myanmar.
U.S. officials said a casualty of the Cheonan issue will likely be the six-party negotiating process over North Korea's nuclear program, which includes the U.S., China, South Korea, North Korea, Japan and Russia. Pyongyang has refused to take part in the talks for over a year, instead seeking international recognition as a nuclear-weapons
state. The Obama administration's chief envoy to the talks, Stephen Bosworth, has no immediate plans to visit Seoul or Pyongyang.
Mrs. Clinton will also face the delicate task of discussing the Cheonan matter with officials in China -- North Korea's largest trade partner, economic benefactor and supporter. Seoul was irked when Beijing waited nearly a month to offer condolences for the South Korean sailors killed. Chinese President Hu Jintao also recently hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in Beijing.
"We will need to show that we stand firmly with Lee Myung-bak and our South Korean allies," said the senior U.S. official.
South Korean officials in recent days have been discussing a range of unilateral penalties,
including cutting the few remaining economic connections with North Korea, restarting official government-sponsored radio broadcasting aimed at the North and changing some of the procedures its military uses when confronting the other country.
North Korea's state media has issued critical statements in response to South Korean news reports about the Cheonan investigation.
Pyongyang said Tuesday that its parliament would convene early next month for the second time this year, an unusual step for a group that usually meets once a year to rubber-stamp actions taken by Kim Jong Il. North Korea didn't say why the group would meet, though analysts in Seoul speculated on a connection to findings in the Cheonan matter.
Last Friday, the South's Unification Ministry issued a memo to other government agencies calling for the suspension of inter-Korean exchanges and halt of any new deals with North Korea. But the ministry cited tension over another matter, the North's seizure of South Korean assets at a tourist resort in the North.
The expected charge against North Korea, reported earlier Tuesday by the Washington Post, will also play into a gathering political drama in South Korea tied to June 2 local and provincial elections.
The ruling conservative party, which advocates a harder line with North Korea, has been expected to get a boost if the report shows clear evidence that North Korea sank the warship.
On Monday, lawmakers from several opposition parties said in a joint statement that the ruling party and Mr. Lee are "trying to politically motivate the case to affect local elections." The government didn't respond to the accusations.