SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States may implement additional sanctions on North Korea in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said on Tuesday.
The U.N. Security Council on July 9 condemned the attack on the South Korean ship Cheonan in March but did not explicitly blame the North. Pyongyang denies all responsibility.
“Considering the threat to the stability of the Korean peninsula from the Cheonan incident, the U.S. is considering additional sanctions against the North,” Yu said on YTN TV.
The Security Council adopted resolution 1874, which cut off Pyongyang’s arms trade, last year, after the North’s second nuclear test.
Tension on the Korean peninsula rose to new heights following the sinking that killed 46 South Korean sailors. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold a high-profile meeting in Seoul this week to respond to the North in a strong show of support for its military ally.
South Korea has suspended trade ties with its destitute neighbor and pledged to begin propaganda broadcasts from loudspeakers set up along the Demilitarized Zone border that divides the Korean peninsula.
The North has threatened to shoot at the loudspeakers and also warned of war if the Seoul imposed additional sanctions.
Yu said it was regrettable that North Korea had called for the resumption of six-party nuclear disarmament talks as “a ploy” to deflect accusations on the ship sinking.
“It is very important that the North admits to its role in the Cheonan incident and apologize, as well as pledge not to repeat similar behavior,” he said.
Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner