June 30, 2010 09:06
The National Assembly finally adopted a resolution condemning North Korea for sinking the Navy corvette Cheonan, 95 days after the ship sank in the West Sea on March 26.
A full session on Tuesday passed the resolution with 163 votes for, 70 against and four abstentions. The resolution slams the North for a "military provocation" and urges the government to take "appropriate action."
The main opposition Democratic Party voted against the resolution introduced by the ruling Grand National Party. The Democratic Labor Party walked out without participating in the vote.
The resolution expresses confidence in the findings of "a scientific and objective inquiry by a joint civilian-military team proving that the Cheonan sank as a result of a torpedo attack by North Korea." It condemns the North for still calling the incident "fabricated."
It calls the sinking a "blatant act of aggression," which violates the armistice, the basic inter-Korean agreement, and the UN Charter, and a "grave military provocation" against South Korea. It strongly urges the North to apologize, punish those responsible, make reparations, and promise to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents. It also urges the government to take firm steps against all provocations by the North.
Earlier on, the DP had submitted a competing draft resolution that did not point to the North as the perpetrator but claimed that the official findings are insufficient to remove "nationwide doubts." In its own draft resolution, the DP also used the vaguer expression "the sinking of the Cheonan," instead of "North Korea's attack on the Cheonan." It was rejected in a vote of 77 to 165 with one abstention.
In the debate, DP lawmaker Kim Hyo-seok attracted vocal protest from GNP lawmakers when he called for compliance with the North's request to send its own investigative team to the South.
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