Clinton voices support for ROK over ship sinking

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday voiced unequivocal support for South Korea in dealing with the alleged torpedo attack by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) that killed 46 sailors in late March, calling Pyongyang's "aggression unacceptable."

Clinton said during a joint press conference with Seoul's Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan that Washington is considering additional options to hold Pyongyang accountable for the sinking of the 1,200-ton corvette Cheonan, urging the DPRK to "stop provocation." She did not elaborate on what options are on the table at the moment, though local news reports previously talked of possible financial sanctions on Pyongyang.

The secretary, who is on a short one-day visit to Seoul, showed full support for the international probe into the incident that concluded the DPRK torpedoed the corvette.

"The international, independent investigation was objective, the evidence overwhelming, the conclusion inescapable," she said. "This was an unacceptable provocation by North Korea (DPRK). And the international community has a responsibility and a duty to respond," she added.

Clinton also gave her backing to a series of punitive measures against Pyongyang that Seoul recently announced, which includes anti-submarine drills with the United States and suspension of trade and bilateral exchanges, calling such steps "prudent" and " absolutely appropriate."

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