World News Brief, Friday May 21

Global condemnation of North Korean torpedo attack on warship (+ analysis); Iran threatens u-turn on fuel swap; Mexico president heads to Congress to plea for immigration reform; Oceans warming since 1993 consistent with build-up of greenhouse gases; and more

Top of the Agenda: North Korea Condemned for Sunk Ship

An international investigation found that a North Korean torpedo was responsible for the sinking of a South Korean warship on March 26, leading the United States, Britain, and the United Nations to condemn the Pyongyang regime (Telegraph). The finding may stoke instability on the Korean Peninsula, with South Korea vowing "resolute countermeasures" against the North for the unprovoked attack. The report found a North Korean vessel fired on the South Korean ship before returning to North Korean waters. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, "This act of aggression is one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law." North Korea reacted harshly to the report, saying it was a "fabrication" and that it would wage "all-out war" if there was any retaliation. China, North Korea's strongest ally, reacted cautiously and could use its veto at the UN Security Council to block further sanctions against the North. South Korea called an emergency meeting of its National Security Council to discuss its response.

The escalation of tensions complicates the upcoming trip (NYT) to China by top US officials.


A Korea Times editorial says the South is moving quickly to take punitive action against the North, but it should first protect its citizens working in the North.

CFR's Scott Snyder says South Korea's possible responses can be categorized according to four different tracks: domestic, inter-Korean, the U.S.-ROK alliance, and international.


The BBC provides a Q&A about the March 26 sinking of the South Korean ship.


PACIFIC RIM: Yuan May Stick Amid Economic Turmoil

Chinese Assistant Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao appeared to urge the United States not to pressure China on its currency during strategic talks between the countries next week, suggesting China will wait for economic clarity (DowJones) from the eurozone before potentially revaluing its own currency.

Six experts debate whether the Obama administration's approach to China's currency policy is the right one, and why.



Iran to Scrap Fuel Swap if Sanctions Go Ahead

Calderón Pushes on Immigration, Economy

Oceans have been warming since 1993, says new report


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