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S.Korea under pressure to skip Nobel ceremony

world Updated: Nov 11, 2010 09:26 IST
Nobel Peace Prize

South Korea is under pressure from China to boycott a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Diplomats from several countries said China's embassy in Oslo had sent letters implicitly cautioning them not to attend the award ceremony on December 10 in Oslo.

More than a dozen European countries, including France, Britain and Germany have said their ambassadors or other senior diplomats will attend the event.

"Our government has also received a request from China. However, we have yet to make a decision," a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.

But a South Korean official said Seoul should consider its relations with Beijing in deciding whether to send an envoy.

"We feel uneasy. We will watch the situation," one official said on condition of anonymity.

China was enraged by the Nobel committee's decision to award the prize to Liu, a writer and rights activist who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for subversion for publishing a pro-democracy charter.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai warned on Friday that governments would have to "take responsibility for the consequences" if they backed Liu.