June 07, 2010 11:10
The U.S. is reviewing "additional options" against North Korea over the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Saturday.
Speaking at the Ninth Asia Security Conference in Singapore, Gates said his government "is assessing additional options to hold North Korea accountable" for its "provocative and reckless behavior."
"Inaction would amount to an abdication of our collective responsibility to protect the peace and reinforce stability in Asia," he added.
But Gates did not specify what those options are but was apparently referring to measures to be taken by the U.S. separately from a joint South Korea-U.S. military exercise later this month and a response from the UN Security Council.
They could include tougher financial sanctions to cut North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's purse strings.
The U.S. could also attempt to search all North Korean aircraft and ships at airports and ports in Asia and step up the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led multinational pact to stop and search ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction on the high seas.
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