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Russia expects UN Security Council to make statement on Korean armed conflict

RIA Novosti

14:19 25/11/2010

MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed hope the United Nations Security Council in the near future will make a statement on the armed conflict between North and South Korea.

North Korea opened artillery fire on the South's Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea Tuesday, killing at least two South Korean marines and two civilians. Sixteen others were injured, along with three civilians. The South retaliated and warned of further strikes. The North later accused South Korea of attacking first.

"I hope that in the next few days the Council will express its opinion and that this will help to calm the situation," Lavrov said. "The sides should realize their responsibilities."

"The Security Council members are already holding consultations on this issue," the minister said.

"It is important to look at not only the unnecessary escalation of tension, but what actually happened: one thing is to fire in open waters even though these waters are disputed, and another thing is to strike land in populated settlements," Lavrov said. "People were killed and this is most important."

South Korean media said heir-apparent Kim Jong-un and his father, Kim Jong-il, visited the military base from where the South Korean island was shelled shortly before the attack.

A top U.S. military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, called for international pressure on North Korea, including on the part of China.

"The one country that has influence in Pyongyang is China and so their leadership is absolutely critical," he said.

The attack is the second incident in the tense Yellow Sea border area this year. In March, a North Korean submarine was alleged to have torpedoed a South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, causing the loss of 46 lives.



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