Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, left, shakes hands with South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan before their meeting at the government house in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 29, 2010. (Photo credit: Lee Jin-man / AP)
May 30, 2010
SEOGWIPO, South Korea – China’s premier expressed no support for proposed U.N. sanctions against ally North Korea over its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship, declining Sunday to join other key nations in blaming Pyongyang.
Premier Wen Jiabao said Sunday that tensions between the two Koreas need to be urgently defused. He spoke at the end of a weekend summit in South Korea where he was closely watched for signs that Beijing would get tougher on the North, which is accused of sinking the naval ship Cheonan with a torpedo two months ago, killing 46 sailors. …
North Korea has repeatedly denied attacking the ship, and on Sunday tens of thousands of people packed the main square in Pyongyang, the nation’s capital, for a rally condemning South Korea and the U.S. The isolated North often organizes such events during times of tense relations with foreign countries.
Clapping and pumping their fists in the air, the protesters shouted anti-South Korean slogans, held signs and carried a huge portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, according to video footage from APTN in North Korea.
“Because of the South Korean war-loving, mad puppets and American invaders, the North and South relationship is being driven to a catastrophe,” Choi Yong Rim, secretary of the North Korean Workers Party in Pyongyang, told the crowd. …
Last week, South Korea laid out a series of punitive measures, including slashing trade, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises off the western coast.
The North warned the South’s moves would push the peninsula closer to war. …
South Koreans demonstrate against North Korean leader (NBC “Today,” May 27, 2010) – Thousands of demonstrators pour in the streets of Seoul, South Korea in protest against North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. (00:37)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — May 30, 2009
One year ago today, I reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned North Korea that the United States would respond quickly if moves by the communist government threatened America or its Asian allies.
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