Monday, April 26, 2010

Standoff Over Ship Escalates in Koreas

WSJ- SEOUL—South Korea’s top military official said Sunday that a torpedo likely exploded under the South Korean patrol boat that sank a month ago near the maritime border with North Korea, bringing Seoul closer to declaring it was attacked by the North and hastening a delicate decision about what to do next.

The finding puts South Korea and its ally the U.S. in a bind in confronting the nuclear-armed totalitarian state. Seoul faces several constraints in penalizing Pyongyang, starting with the prospect that a military response could escalate into a war that very few here want.
The response could include seeking economic sanctions through the United Nations, a senior official in Seoul said, but the timing may be shaped by an approaching South Korean election and the process of rallying world support for penalties.

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