China pressed to act over N Korea

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak turned the heat up on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at a three-way summit with Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in South Korea, as the leaders discussed the sinking, which claimed 46 lives.

Regional tensions have risen sharply since international investigators said a North Korean torpedo sunk the warship, with South Korea announcing reprisals that have sparked threats of war from the North.

“South Korea will focus all diplomatic efforts on holding North Korea responsible in the summit this weekend,” Lee’s spokesman Park Sun-Kyoo said.
“Japan will sincerely support South Korea,” Hatoyama told Lee before they went into three-way talks with Wen, Lee’s office said.

Leading role
The Japanese leader also promised Japan’s “leading role” in mustering international support for South Korea at the UN Security Council, Lee’s senior spokesman Lee Dong-Kwan told journalists.

The talks on the southern resort island of Jeju came after a rare press conference by North Korean military officials on Friday, in which they accused the South of fabricating evidence over the sinking of the 1,200-tonne Cheonan.

Unlike many countries, China has not publicly blamed Pyongyang for the sinking, one of the worst military attacks on the South since the 1950-53 war. “China is persistent in supporting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” Wen was quoted telling S Korean PM Chung Un-Chan hours before joining the summit, according to Chung’s spokesman.“We reject any act that would harm peace and stability.”

Wen was also quoted as saying that China attached importance to the outcome of a multinational investigation led by South Korea into the sinking.

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