June 28, 2010 12:04
The leaders of the G8 countries issued a final communique on Saturday condemning North Korea for sinking the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan.
"We deplore the attack on March 26 that caused the sinking of the Republic of Korea's naval vessel, the Cheonan, resulting in tragic loss of 46 lives," the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States said in the communique issued after a two-day summit in the Canadian resort town of Huntsville.
Stressing that a multinational investigation held North Korea responsible for the sinking, the statement added: "We condemn, in this context, the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan." It demands that North Korea "refrain from committing any attacks or threatening hostilities" against the South.
AP cited Japanese officials as saying Russia was the only country among the G8 to oppose stronger words in the final communique. "Criticizing North Korea while the findings of the Cheonan investigation are not considered final could lead to negative consequences," a Russian official was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, 11 U.S. senators, including 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain, sent a letter of protest on Friday to the Chinese government, which remains on the fence over the Cheonan shipwreck.
In the letter to the Chinese ambassador in the U.S., the senators say they are appalled that the Chinese government has rejected an offer to be briefed by the multinational investigative team, and are concerned that the Chinese representative to the UN is blocking the adoption of a resolution or chairman's statement by the UN Security Council condemning North Korea.
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