N. Korea attack: US weighing options, likely to ask China to act

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Washington, Nov.24 (ANI): Top national security aides of President Barack Obama have said the United States Government is weighing all options, including pressing China to put pressure on the North Korean regime to cease hostilities against neighbouring South Korea.

The security aides met Tuesday to develop a response to North Korea's deadly shelling of a South Korean military installation on the border island of Yeonpyeong.

Washington is hoping to keep a North Korean provocation from escalating into a war.

According to the New York Times, Obama attended the end of the emergency session and is expected to call South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak to express American solidarity and talk about a coordinated response.

As top American officials gathered in the Situation Room late Tuesday, the South Korean military went into what it termed "crisis status."

President Lee said he would order strikes on a North Korean base if there were indications of new attacks.

North Korea's artillery shells fell on Yeonpyeong Island, a fishing village whose residents fled by ferry to the mainland city of Inchon.

A senior American official said that an early American assessment indicated that a total of about 175 artillery shells were fired by the North and by the South in response on Tuesday.

An American official who had looked at satellite images said there was no visible evidence of preparations for a general war. (ANI)

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