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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Republic of Korea requests Security Council action on sinking of naval vessel

4 June 2010 – The Republic of Korea today formally requested the Security Council to take up the matter of the sinking of one of its naval ships, alleged by the country to have been carried out by neighbouring Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK).

Late last month Seoul released the findings of an international report which said that its vessel Cheonan was hit by a DPRK torpedo in late March, claiming the lives of 46 of its soldiers.

Park In-Kook, the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to the UN, said today that he presented a letter to Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for June, requesting the 15-member body to consider the matter.

“I requested the Security Council to respond in a manner appropriate to the gravity of this situation,” Mr. Park told reporters at UN Headquarters.

Mr. Heller said that he will initiate consultations among the Council’s members before responding to the request.

“We will circulate this letter to all members so that the Security Council could duly consider this matter and respond in an appropriate manner to this request,” he stated.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week at his monthly press conference that the evidence laid out in the report “is overwhelming and deeply troubling,” adding his voice to the chorus of international leaders condemning the incident.

“I am confident that the Council, in fulfilling its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, will take measures appropriate to the gravity of the situation,” he stated.

The matter also came up during discussions held yesterday in New York between the Secretary-General and Vice Foreign Minister Chun Young-woo of the Republic of Korea, who briefed Mr. Ban on his meeting with Mr. Heller regarding the Cheonan incident.

In a speech to the Korea Society in New York on Wednesday evening, Mr. Ban noted that the Cheonan incident is a “stark reminder” of the urgency of securing durable peace and stability in the region.

“I am confident that the international community and the Security Council will heed the call for a united stand for the sake of peace,” he said.

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