S. Korea Blocks Trade With N. Korea

US backs South's new more aggressive stance
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2010 3:15 AM CDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Beijing today warns that North Korea's sinking of South Korean naval ship Cheonan has created a "highly precarious" security situation.   (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)
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(Newser) – Tensions on the Korean peninsula were ratcheted up today when South Korea suspended trade with the North, closing its waters to North Korean ships. Showing a newly aggressive stance, President Lee Myung-bak also called on Pyongyang to apologize for the torpedo attack that sank a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors. The move came after Hillary Clinton said in China yesterday that the US would back Seoul in the escalating Korean crisis, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Lee told South Koreans in a televised speech this morning that the country is adopting a new posture of "proactive deterrence" toward the North. He said the country is "drastically" stepping up its combat capabilities, national security and military discipline. In response to Lee's speech, the White House said that the trade suspension was "called for and entirely appropriate," CNN reports.

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