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S Korea cuts trade with North

24 May 2010 4:06

South Korea has cut its trade ties with the North and called on the UN Security Council to punish Pyongyang for the deliberate sinking of a South Korean warship.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on Monday that Seoul would cut trade with Pyongyang, pledging an immediate military reaction to any future attacks.

“From now on, (South) Korea will not tolerate any provocative act by the North and will maintain the principle of proactive deterrence,” Lee said in a nationally televised speech. “If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense.”

Lee said trade and exchanges between the two sides would be suspended since any cooperation was “meaningless” under the present circumstances.

The measures came a week after a multinational team of experts from the US, the UK, Australia and Sweden said in a report that a torpedo had hit the ship.

Pyongyang has fiercely denied any involvement, calling the claim as pure “fabrication.”

The North has also warned that any retaliation would trigger a war.

The South Korean warship, the Cheonan, went down around two months ago near the disputed inter-Korean maritime border, raising tensions between the two nations, which technically remain at war.

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