N. Korea responsible for ship attack: Cannon
'No other plausible explanation' for sinking of South Korean vessel in March
Evidence gathered with the help of Canadian experts points "conclusively" to a North Korean torpedo being responsible for the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says.
A report by investigators from South Korea and several of its allies, released Thursday in South Korea, say their investigation found evidence that overwhelmingly proves North Korea fired a torpedo that sank the ship, killing 46 sailors.
In an address in Montreal Thursday, Cannon said Canada provided technical experts for the investigation and concluded "there is no other plausible explanation" for the sinking."Canada strongly condemns this violent act of aggression by the North Korean regime, which has once again demonstrated reckless and unacceptable behaviour," Cannon said in his speech outlining Canada's international priorities ahead of the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in Ontario.
"We are closely consulting with South Korea and our allies, and we will continue to support South Korea in the best way forward to take North Korea to task."
Leaders from around the world have joined Canada in reacting forcefully to the report's findings and reiterating their support of South Korea.
In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama also called it an "act of aggression," and said it's "one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behaviour and defiance of international law."
The United States supports the findings but has not said what, if anything, it will do.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there's been no change in the alert status for the U.S. The U.S. maintains more than 28,000 forces on the South Korean peninsula, and more aboard ships offshore.
In a statement through his spokesman, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said facts laid out in the report are "deeply troubling." Ban, a South Korean national, learned of the results "with a heavy heart and serious concern," the statement added.
North warns of 'all-out war'
South Korean Foreign Minister Yu-Myung-hwan has said his country has "enough evidence" to take the sinking to the UN Security Council, which meets in New York City.
South Korean media have also reported that President Lee Myung-bak plans to give a speech on the sinking in a few days. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due in Seoul for talks on Wednesday as part of a one-week Asian tour that will also includes stops in China and Japan.
The South Korean president vowed "stern action" for the provocation and called an emergency security meeting for Friday, the presidential Blue House said.
North Korea has denied responsibility for the sinking. Pyongyang has announced it's planning to convene a rare second session of its parliament in early June, and has warned the North will wage "all-out war" if punished for the sinking.
"If the [South Korean] enemies try to deal any retaliation or punishment, or if they try sanctions or a strike on us ... we will answer to this with all-out war," Col. Pak In Ho of North Korea's navy told broadcaster APTN in Pyongyang.
With files from The Associated Press