During an emotional televised speech on Monday, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak vowed a "resolute" response to the sinking of a warship at the Yellow Sea last month after North Korea broke weeks of silence to angrily deny involvement in the disaster.
South Korea has not directly blamed the communist North for the sinking near their tense maritime border. However, it is clear that if the North's involvement is verified, it will be a difficult source of friction and dilemma between the two Koreas. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan has also suggested the possibility of seeking help from the UN Security Council. A conclusive report on the cause of the tragedy may take several months according to experts, with preliminary findings expected at the end of the week.
The Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes between the North and South in 1999 and 2002 and of a firefight last November that left a North Korean patrol boat in flames.
S. Korean Leader Vows Resolute Response to Ship Sinking [ChannelNewsAsia, 19 Apr 2010]
South Korea Vows to Find Culprit in Sinking of Warship [The New York Times, 19 Apr 2010]