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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

S. Korea to discuss in Moscow taking Cheonan issue to UN

RIA Novosti

12:16 02/06/2010

SEOUL, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Seoul is seeking an agreement from Russia to take the Cheonan issue to the UN Security Council, a high-ranking diplomat in Seoul said prior to leaving for talks in Moscow.

"It is a matter of time before the Cheonan issue is taken to the UN Security Council," Deputy Foreign Minister Vee Son Nak, who is to meet for talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Borodavkin, said.

"It is time to discuss the issue with Russia," Vee said, adding that South Korea had already "discussed the issue to a sufficient level" with the United States, China and Japan.

South Korea's 1,200-ton Cheonan corvette sank near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives. An international investigation revealed that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang has denied the allegations.

South Korea subsequently froze economic relations and maritime communications with its northern neighbor, further crippling the North's economy, which is already damaged by UN sanctions intended to force it to quit its nuclear program.

North Korea retaliated by announcing it was cutting all ties with Seoul and allegedly ordered its 1.2-million armed forces to get ready for combat. It later announced the withdrawal of all its military safeguards in relations with the South and said it would scrap an agreement between the two countries aimed at preventing clashes off the west coast.

South Korea wants a resolution from the UN Security Council condemning North Korea and demanding an apology, rather than new sanctions. However, press reports have suggested that if China speaks against the request, the UN Security Council will only be able to issue a statement by its chairman.

Vee Son Nak and Borodavkin headed the South Korean and Russian delegations at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing on North Korea's Nuclear Program. In April 2009, North Korea halted the talks in protest to the UN Security Council's condemnation of its missile tests.

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