South Korea’s president met today with Hu Jintao in hopes of getting the support he needs to accuse North Korea of sinking his ship.
The meeting was staged as a symbol of growing cooperation. But with Lee Myung-bak planning to take evidence of a hostile attack to the Security Council, where China has veto power, the meeting took on new significance.
Although we don’t know what was said in the 30-minute meeting, it seems Lee was rebuffed: Hu publicly expressed condolences for the shipwreck, nothing more.
Lee’s diplomatic campaign will continue and may call in his American allies. JoongAng Daily put it succinctly:
South Korea spent the month of April mourning the loss of lives from the Cheonan sinking. May is scheduled to be about diplomatic efforts to prepare for responses if North Korea is found to be behind the tragedy.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s could be hours away from definitive proof of a North Korean attack. The military has collected metal fragments from the crash site that are not part of the ship (that means they’re part of a mine or torpedo), according to Korea Times.
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