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(LEAD) Seoul says UNSC measure similar to G-8 statement on North Korea would be acceptable

All Headlines 19:17 June 29, 2010

(ATTN: ADDS N.K.'s response to G-8 statement in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, June 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will find acceptable a U.N. Security Council measure on North Korea similar to the statement issued by G-8 leaders last week that condemns the attack on a South Korean warship without naming North Korea as the culprit, a high-ranking source here said Tuesday.

At the end of their two-day summit in Muskoka, north of Toronto, on Saturday, the G-8 leaders said they "deplore the attack on March 26 that caused the sinking of the Republic of Korea's naval vessel, the Cheonan, resulting in the tragic loss of 46 lives." Republic of Korea is South Korea's official name.

The statement, which called for "appropriate measures" against those responsible for the attack, does not directly blame North Korea. Russia, a stronger backer of North Korea, reportedly opposed making the direct link, citing a lack of concrete evidence.

A South Korean-led investigation by a multinational team of experts concluded last month that North Korea had downed the 1,200-ton corvette Cheonan with a heavy torpedo. Seoul referred the case to the Security Council earlier this month to seek the censure of its communist neighbor, but China and Russia, both of which hold veto powers, have yet to support punitive actions against the North.

The source said it was not clear whether the Security Council will issue a presidential statement or a resolution on Pyongyang. Regardless of the form, the outcome would be acceptable if the language is comparable with that of the G-8 statement, he said.

The statement took note of the conclusions by the investigation team that the North was responsible for the attack, the source said. "The statement specifically refers to the conclusion and condemned the attack in that context," he said. "Anyone could easily see that the leaders condemned North Korea."

He added that there was "some consensus" within the Security Council that the attack on the warship should be condemned. "The contentious issue at hand is whether to specifically name North Korea," he said.

Later in the day, North Korea criticized the G-8 statement, saying its purpose is political.

"We vehemently and totally refute the declaration adopted at the G-8 summit held in Canada on June 25 and 26 in which its participants pulled up the DPRK, though indirectly, referring to south Korea's "results of investigation" into the "Cheonan" case," said an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman in an English-language dispatch carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The spokesman claimed that arguments over the results are heating up in the South as well as internationally, while adding that the South refuses the North's demand to receive a North Korean inspection group.

"Heads of state of G-8, however, hastily handled the case in a deliberate manner only to prove that they sought a sinister political purpose," the spokesman said.


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