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Ban 'Confident' of Security Council Response to North Korean Torpedo Attack


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says evidence is overwhelming that North Korea is responsible for a torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. He says he is confident the U.N. Security Council will take appropriate measures in dealing with the incident.

In a monthly news conference Monday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the March 26 torpedo attack. A team of international investigators concluded last week that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo at the South Korean military vessel, ripping the ship in two and killing 46 sailors.

"The evidence laid out in the joint international investigation report is overwhelming and deeply troubling. I fully share the widespread condemnation of the incident," he said.

He said he expects that U.N. Security Council to take up the measure, but he did not say what, if anything, it could do to rebuke Pyongyang. North Korea is currently under United Nations sanctions for nuclear testing in 2006 and 2009.

"I'm 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 said.

Ban said he hopes whatever action taken by the 15-member council will result in the resumption of six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

North Korea last year quit the talks with South Korea, China, Russia, the United States and Japan.

The torpedoing of the South Korean vessel was one of the country's worst military disasters since the 1950-to-1953 Korean War.

In response, South Korea has said it will halt hundreds of millions of dollars in trade with the impoverished North and said North Korean vessels will no longer be allowed to sail through the South's waters.

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