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SKorean, Chinese leaders meet amid NKorea tension

 Map shows disputed sea border between North and South Korea
 North Korean women rest on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning pr...
 A North Korean officer looks on from the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's L...
 Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao waves upon his arrival at the Seoul Military Airport in Seongnam, South Korea, Friday, May 28, 2010.(AP Photo/Ahn Y...
 A North Korean soldier rests on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoni...
 A Chinese tourist boat pass by a North Korean patrol boat anchored along the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from the Chinese border town...

NKOREA SEA BORDER

Map shows disputed sea border between North and South Korea

China Koreas Ship Sinks

North Korean women rest on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning pr...

China Koreas Ship Sinks

A North Korean officer looks on from the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's L...

South Korea China Ship Sinks

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao waves upon his arrival at the Seoul Military Airport in Seongnam, South Korea, Friday, May 28, 2010.(AP Photo/Ahn Y...

China Koreas Ship Sinks

A North Korean soldier rests on the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from along the Yalu river near Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoni...

China Koreas Ship Sinks

A Chinese tourist boat pass by a North Korean patrol boat anchored along the river banks of Sinuiju in North Korea, seen from the Chinese border town...

North Korea's neighbors ramped up efforts to take Pyongyang to the U.N. Security Council for sinking a South Korean warship, with South Korea's president seeking China's support during a summit Friday.
China's backing would be key to any bid to condemn or sanction North Korea for the March 26 torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. Beijing, a veto-wielding permanent Security Council member, so far has refrained from committing to Security Council action against Pyongyang, its neighbor and traditional ally.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will lay out the case against North Korea during bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a South Korean government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.
Wen and Lee were meeting at the presidential Blue House on Friday afternoon, a day before a three-way summit that will also include Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
"South Korea is fully concentrating on diplomatic efforts to hold North Korea responsible," Lee's spokesman Park Sun-kyu said in a statement. He said the matter would be discussed Friday, at the weekend summit and at a security meeting in Singapore in early June.
A multinational investigation concluded last week that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that tore apart and sank the Cheonan in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War.
North Korea has denied responsibility for the attack, and has warned that retaliation or punishment would mean war.
Tensions have soared since Lee laid out a series of punitive measures and pledged to haul Pyongyang before the U.N. Security Council. The measures include slashing trade with Pyongyang, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises off the western coast. U.S.-South Korean military drills are to follow in the coming months.
North Korea threatened Thursday to attack any South Korean ships entering its waters and scrapped an accord meant to prevent naval clashes.
The ship sinking was the latest in a series of North Korean attacks on the South since the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953. South Korea has never retaliated militarily.
Any Security Council action would need the backing of key permanent member China. The South Korean official said dozens of nations have offered their support for Security Council action, but there was no indication yet that Beijing would back the South Korean-led bid.
He said China, mindful of its relations with both Koreas and the international community, can be expected to act deliberately and quietly. South Korean officials did not expect any Security Council action to happen before the end of the month, he said.
Senior U.S. officials said Wednesday that China had indicated it was prepared to hold the North accountable for the torpedo attack and could join in some kind of formal Security Council rebuke.
However, asked about Beijing's stance Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu simply called the issue "highly complicated" and said China's position remained unchanged.
"China does not have firsthand information. We are looking at the information from all sides in a prudent manner," Ma told a regularly scheduled news conference in Beijing.
Japan has already banned trade with the North and said Friday it will limit the amount of money that can be sent to North Korea without being reported to the government. Tokyo also said it will slash the amount of cash travelers can take into North Korea _ an apparent bid to target funds funneled to the North by ethnic Koreans in Japan.
Calling the sinking of the ship "unforgivable," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano suggested in Tokyo that the government is considering additional sanctions.
Separately, Hatoyama and President Barack Obama jointly condemned the March 26 attack in a phone call and vowed to cooperate with South Korea on Security Council action, the White House said.
"The president and the prime minister called on North Korea to end its provocative behavior toward its neighbors and to abide by its commitment to eliminate its nuclear-weapons program and to fulfill its other international obligations," the White House said in a statement.
Moves by Russia, another permanent member of the Security Council and a country that has had close relations with North Korea in the past, were also closely watched.
President Dmitry Medvedev was sending experts to Seoul to study the findings of the investigation into the ship disaster, the Kremlin said. They were to arrive within days, South Korean officials said.
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Associated Press writers Jean H. Lee in Seoul, Shino Yuasa in Tokyo and Christopher Bodeen in Beijing contributed to this report.


Updated : 2020-12-01 05:17 GMT+08:00