Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 12:20 UK

Media urge action on Korea sinking

South Koreans display torpedo parts salvaged from the Yellow Sea
Officials exhibit torpedo parts as evidence which they say proves North Korea sank a South Korean warship

Commentators in several Asian newspapers urged strong action against North Korea after an international investigation found that a South Korean warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo.

Others weighed the risks of doing too little, or too much; of military action rather than diplomacy.

In South Korea - where the question of how to relate to the northern neighbour is a major source of domestic bickering - newspaper editorials called for action, but action which would avoid disastrous consequences. Some commentators looked to China to apply pressure as a friend on the secretive state.

ZHANG LIANGUI IN CHINESE GLOBAL TIMES

Sanctions should be in position if North Korea is proved to be behind the attack. Without sanctions, the North could get the wrong impression that it's safe to do whatever it likes.

EDITORIAL IN HONG KONG'S SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

China's involvement is important if North Korea is to change its ways.... If the sinking of the South Korean ship is to be punished and North Korea brought back to the negotiating table, Beijing is well positioned to play a leading role.

VASILIY GOLOVNIN IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

Russia will probably just keep quiet: it doesn't have enough leverage over Pyongyang ... The sinking of the corvette has not only ruined the prospect of a resumption of the six-party talks (aimed at limiting North Korea's nuclear programme); it has also made the situation very unpredictable once again.

ALEKSANDR LUKIN IN RUSSIA'S KOMMERSANT

Russia's reaction has also been rather evasive... Hopefully Moscow and Beijing will run out of patience one day and realise that the problem has to be resolved and that a new split between the world powers, which Pyongyang is dreaming of, should not be allowed to occur.

ALEKSANDR ZHEBIN IN RUSSIA'S NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA

It is important that diplomacy does not sink together with the corvette. The Koreans should make sure that the grief of 46 South Korean families is not used to bring tragedy to millions.

EDITORIAL IN SOUTH KOREA'S CHOSUN ILBO

The investigation of the sinking of the Cheonan and the discovery of the smoking gun linking the attack to North Korea were achieved in the shortest possible time. Now is therefore the best moment for Seoul to establish its right to defend itself under international law. North Korea's threat of "all-out war" offers even more reason for the South to declare that right. But declaring the right to self defence and actually retaliating by force are two different matters. One step worth considering is to deploy the US Seventh Fleet to waters off of the Korean Peninsula … to deter North Korea from making another fatal misjudgment.

EDITORIAL IN SOUTH KOREA'S JOONGANG

Our internal division is more dangerous than an external attack. No matter what provocations the North may engage in, we have the military capability to retaliate against them. But if we try to exploit the threats from North Korea as a means of internal political strife, one torpedo attack is powerful enough to tear the country into pieces.

EDITORIAL IN SOUTH KOREA'S DONG-A ILBO

To ensure stability in Northeast Asia and world peace, the international community should unite to punish North Korea. The North's nuclear and missile development and provocations against the South will threaten northeast Asian stability, something that the US, Japan, China and Russia all have a stake in … To turn North Korea into a normal country, the world must devise concrete and effective countermeasures and implement them orderly and swiftly. The UN Security Council, whose aim is to maintain world peace, should also take the lead in such efforts.

EDITORIAL IN SOUTH KOREA'S THE KOREA TIMES

In retaliation, the government will be wise enough to exclude tit-for-tat military action, which would definitely trigger counterattacks. A military clash will jeopardise the lives of 20 million people in Seoul and the surrounding areas. (South Korean) President Lee Myung-bak should not be remembered as a warmonger. However, doing nothing will trigger a strong backlash from the people.


BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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