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DPRK 'to block border traffic'

[ 2010-05-27 13:09]     字号 [] [] []  
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The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) threatened on Wednesday to block cross-border traffic and blow up any Republic of Korea (ROK) loudspeakers blasting propaganda northward after a six-year hiatus, as tensions soared over the sinking of an ROK warship.

The dramatic deterioration in relations came as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Seoul at the end of a three-nation Asian tour that earlier took her to Japan and China.

Clinton on Wednesday voiced unequivocal support for the ROK in dealing with the sinking of the Cheonan, which Seoul claims was torpedoed by the DPRK, calling Pyongyang's "aggression unacceptable."

At a briefing on Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visits to the ROK, Japan, Mongolia and Mynmar, Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun said Beijing regards the sinking as "extremely complicated".

"China is carefully and prudently studying and examining the information from all sides," Zhang told reporters at a briefing in Beijing.

He said Beijing was following developments and reiterated China's call for all sides to engage in dialogue and avoid hostile actions that could escalate tensions.

In Seoul, Clinton said during a joint press conference with ROK Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan that Washington is considering additional options to hold Pyongyang accountable for the sinking of the 1,200-ton corvette. She did not elaborate on what options are on the table at the moment.

"This was an unacceptable provocation by North Korea (DPRK), and the international community has a responsibility and a duty to respond," Clinton told reporters after talks with ROK leaders.

The DPRK flatly denies it caused the sinking and has warned that retaliation would lead to war.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang announced it was cutting relations with the ROK, starting "all-out counterattacks" against the South's psychological warfare operations and barring ROK ships and airliners from passing through its territory.

On Wednesday, it cut off some cross-border communication links and expelled eight ROK government officials from a joint factory park in the DPRK border city of Kaesong, ROK's Unification Ministry said.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

DPRK 'to block border traffic'

About the broadcaster:

DPRK 'to block border traffic'

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.