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Statement by the Press Secretary on the Republic of Korea Navy ship the Cheonan, May 2010

Published May 20, 2010

This statement was issued on May 20, 2010 by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

"The President has expressed his deep sympathy to President Lee and the Korean people for the loss of 46 sailors on the Republic of Korea Navy ship Cheonan that was sunk on March 26 by a torpedo.  The United States strongly condemns the act of aggression that led to their deaths.

The report issued today by the team of international investigators reflects an objective and scientific review of the evidence.  It points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that North Korea was responsible for this attack.  This act of aggression is one more instance of North Korea’s unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law.  This attack constitutes a challenge to international peace and security and is a violation of the Armistice Agreement.

The President spoke with President Lee on May 17 and made clear that the United States fully supports the Republic of Korea, both in the effort to secure justice for the 46 service members killed in this attack and in its defense against further acts of aggression.

North Korea must understand that belligerence towards its neighbors and defiance of the international community are signs of weakness, not strength.  Such unacceptable behavior only deepens North Korea’s isolation.  It reinforces the resolve of its neighbors to intensify their cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in the region against all provocations."

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