UN condemns attack on S. Korea warship

The UN Security Council has condemned a deadly attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors in March.

Security Council doesn't directly blame North Korea

South Korean Navy personnel walk past near the wreckage of a warship in Pyeongtaek.The UN condemned the attack on the warship Friday in New York. ((Lee Jin-man/Associated Press))

The UN Security Council has condemned a deadly attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors.

But it stopped short of blaming North Korea for the incident.

A statement approved by all 15 council members expresses "deep concern" over the findings of a South Korean-led international investigation that concluded a North Korean torpedo sank the 1,090-tonne Cheonan on March 26.

The statement, read by the council president at a meeting Friday morning, calls for "appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible."

But it doesn't identify who is responsible, and "takes note" of North Korea's response "that it had nothing to do with the incident."

South Korea had wanted the council to condemn the North. But China, the North's closest ally, opposed any direct condemnation.

In another statement released Friday in Ottawa, Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed the UN move, saying "Canada shares the deep concern expressed by Security Council members."

At the invitation of South Korea, Canada sent three naval experts to participate in the multinational team that investigated the attack on the Cheonan, and subsequently found the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo. 

"Canada, along with other G8 leaders in Muskoka last month, condemned the attack by the North Korean regime as a challenge to peace and security in the region," Harper said.

"We remain committed to co-operating closely with all international parties in seeking accountability for this brutal attack, and call for appropriate measures to be taken against those responsible for the attack in accordance with the United Nations Charter and all other relevant provisions of international law."

Harper also praised the restraint shown by South Korea and "the importance of  maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in northeast Asia as a whole."