SHARON LaFRANIERE and HELENE COOPER
Nov 29, 2010
SEOUL, South Korea — President Lee Myung-bak promised in a televised speech on Monday to make sure that North Korea “pays a dear price” should it attack the South again.
His toughly worded address at the Blue House, the presidential palace in Seoul, made no mention of China’s initiative over the weekend to defuse the latest crisis on the Korean Peninsula. Analysts said that omission signaled South Korea’s disappointment that China was not doing more to rein in North Korea, which relies heavily on China for economic aid.
China called on Sunday for “emergency consultations” in early December in Beijing with North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the United States. The so-called six-party talks among those nations, aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear weapon program, have failed in the past, usually ending with North Korean officials walking out.
Coupled with hastily arranged high-level meetings with North and South Korean leaders, China’s proposal illustrated its nervousness over the escalation in tensions on the peninsula since North Korea’s lethal shelling last Tuesday of a South Korean island in the disputed maritime border area between them.
This article was posted: Monday, November 29, 2010 at 9:32 am