China shows reluctance to censure N.Korea over S.Korea warship sinking

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Washington, May 31 (ANI): China appears unwilling to censure North Korea over its sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan.

According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), Beijing had earlier indicated that it would take steps to caution Pyongyang, but a summit meeting between it, Japan, and South Korea ended on Sunday without any public statement concerning North Korea.

The Korea Times reports that Chinese Primier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak made a joint statement at a news conference Sunday calling for regional peace and stability.

But despite efforts by Lee to convince China to join in the international condemnation of North Korea's sinking of the South Korean cruiser Cheonan, the joint statement made no mention of North Korea.

During a joint press conference, Hatoyama and Wen offered their deep condolences to the families of 46 deceased sailors and vowed to cooperate with the international community to deal with the aftermath.

President Lee said South Korea will take appropriate steps to address the naval tragedy in close partnership with China and Japan. However, he stopped short of blaming North Korea.

"We will work together to properly deal with the case based on the common understanding that it is closely related to peace and stability in Northeast Asia," the leaders said in a joint statement.

The New York Times wrote that the fact that North Korea was not mentioned by name during the joint appearance is "an indication of subtle yet fundamental differences between China and its two capitalist neighbors in responding to North Korea."

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said he doubted the Security Council would take up the Cheonan case.

South Korea will take its case against North Korea to the Security Council this week, according to South Korean news organization Arirang. (ANI)

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