S. Korea takes ship-sinking case to UN

The South Korean government, which accuses North Korea of sinking one of its warships, is taking its case against Pyongyang to the UN Security Council.
Photographers at a defence ministry news conference in Seoul last Thursday take pictures of torpedo parts salvaged from the Yellow Sea. ((Jung Yeon-je/Associated Press))
The South Korean government, which accuses North Korea of sinking one of its warships, said Sunday it's taking its case against Pyongyang to the United Nations Security Council.

A senior government official in Seoul suggested the South will likely push for international agreement for the existing sanctions against the North to be strengthened. There are reports unilateral measures will also be announced.

"We are focusing on diplomatic means of punishment as we found out that existing sanctions and resolutions are not enough," the official told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. "It is time to decide whether we go over to another step."

An international team of investigators announced last week that the evidence pointed to a North Korean submarine having fired a homing torpedo on March 26, tearing apart the 1,200-tonne Cheonan and killing 46 sailors on board.

North Korea called the investigation results an "enormous fabrication" in a commentary Sunday in the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper. The article condemned those it referred to as "traitors" who are "hell-bent on confrontation."

The two Koreas are still technically at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended with a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

The international experts assembled by Seoul to investigate the sinking said a dredging ship recovered torpedo parts at the site of the explosion on May 15.

The parts included propellers, a propulsion motor and a steering section. The specifications of the torpedo parts matched the CHT-02D design in a book published by North Korea for the purpose of arms sales, the Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group concluded in its report.

On Monday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is to address his country to define the tragedy as a "clear armed provocation" by North Korea and disclose his resolve to take "stern" action against the regime, according to his press adviser, Lee Dong-kwan.

Opening high-level U.S.-China talks in Beijing, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that North Korea must be held to account for the incident. China is North Korea's main ally and has thus far remained neutral on the investigation.

With files from The Associated Press