Japan, China Differ Over Cheonan Sinking

      May 17, 2010 12:19

      The foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan met Saturday and Sunday in Gyeongju to discuss the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan.

      Japan expressed support for the tentative conclusion reached by South Korean and U.S. investigators that a North Korean torpedo was responsible, but China did not mention any connection with the North.

      Foreign ministers attending trilateral talks drink traditional Korean rice wine or makgeolli at a dinner in Gyeongju on Saturday. From left Japan's Katsuya Okada, Korea's Yu Myung-hwan, and China's Yang Jiechi /AP-Yonhap

      Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada "again expressed condolences over the Cheonan sinking and support for the government's efforts to investigate it objectively despite the difficult conditions," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun. Immediately after the sinking of the Cheonan, Tokyo told Seoul it is willing to cooperate in any response or economic sanctions the South and the U.S. intend to undertake.

      But while expressing condolences for the South Korean sailors who died aboard the Cheonan, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi merely reaffirmed Beijing's stance that "a scientific and objective investigation is important." Yang did not mention the possibility of a link between North Korea and the shipwreck.

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