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UNSC tells Koreas to refrain from escalating tension

world Updated: Jun 15, 2010 15:11 IST

The UN Security Council today warned against any escalation of tension in the Korean peninsula, as South Korean investigators briefed the body over their findings into the ship-sinking episode blaming the North for it, but Pyongyang said it was being victimised.

A South Korean delegation of civilian and military investigators, who probed the episode of torpedoing of its
ship allegedly by North Korea, held a closed-door meeting with the Security Council to discuss their findings.

This was the first such meeting of South Korean officials with UNSC members on the issue of Cheonan's sinking.

North Korean officials, who also held a meeting with UNSC members, refuted the allegations.

After hearing both sides, the Council warned the two rivals against any escalation of tension in the region.

Claude Heller, the UNSC president and Mexico's envoy said the Security Council "calls on the parties to refrain
from any act that could escalate tensions in the region".

"Today we had an interactive dialogue with members of Security Council as a follow up of our request to bring this
matter to the consideration of the Security Council to take appropriate action commensurate with the gravity of the
provocation by North Korea," Park In-Kook, South Korea's envoy to the UN told journalists.

Results of an investigation by South Korea, made public in May, revealed that its Cheonan naval ship was
torpedoed by its neighbour North Korea.

Since then, the Obama administration has underlined its full support for measures that Seoul may want to pursue
against Pyongyang.

"Along with the Korean experts both civil and military they were also expert representatives from other countries
such as United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Sweden and Canada who had also participated in the investigation," said
Yoon Duk-yong, Co-chairman of the Joint Investigation group.

The investigation done by South Korea has invited some criticism because it has largely been conducted internally.

Refuting the accusations, the Kim Jong-Il government has threatened "all out war" if any action was initiated
against it and has made a series of aggressive statements.

"We presented and explained to the UN Security Council the evidences that the Cheonan was sunk by a torpedo that was
made in North Korea and the launching was also done by a North Korean midget submarine," Duk-yong added.

Japanese ambassador to the UN, Yukio Takasu, said during the conference North Korea described itself as the
"victim" and asked to be allowed to visit the site but did not provide a reason for the request.