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U.S., South Korea Show Unity Over North’s Attack

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell in Seoul
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell speaks to media after a meeting with South Korean nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. Photographer: Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. envoy Kurt Campbell appeared alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung Hwan in Seoul today in a show of unity as the United Nations Security Council began discussing allegations North Korea torpedoed the South’s Cheonan warship.

“We are determined to show that our alliance is standing very firmly together during an absolutely critical period of time,” Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said at the beginning of talks with Yu. The two countries are “taking an appropriate and responsible set of responses to the Cheonan tragedy,” Campbell said later as he began talks with South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Chun Yung Woo.

North Korea’s Ambassador to the UN, Sin Son Ho, warned this week his nation will respond militarily to any accusation by the UN Security Council of complicity in the March 26 sinking of the 1,200-ton Cheonan. Backed by the U.S. and Japan, South Korea is asking for Security Council condemnation of Kim Jong Il’s regime for the attack, which killed 46 sailors.

“This is a good opportunity to show to the world what our alliance is about and how well it works,” Chun said today in Seoul.

The multinational team that said on May 20 a North Korean torpedo caused the sinking briefed the Security Council on its evidence on June 14.

China and Russia, which have veto power on the council, have resisted criticizing Kim’s regime for the attack.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bomi Lim in Seoul at blim30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bill Austin at billaustin@bloomberg.net

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