World News Brief, Thursday May 27

Hillary Clinton urges international community to respond to sinking of South Korean ship; analyst says South Korea's "sunshine policy" towards North Korea is over; US-China economic talks end; Iran pushes fuel swap proposal; EU has bank levy proposal; and more

Top of the Agenda: Clinton Urges Response on N. Korea


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged an international response (AP) to the sinking of a South Korean ship in March that has been blamed on North Korea. Clinton arrived in Seoul on Wednesday after extensive discussions about the situation with Chinese officials in Beijing. Although Clinton said the United States expects to work with China "in fashioning a response," it's still unclear whether China or Russia would move to block punitive action by the UN Security Council. Clinton said the United States and South Korea had offered China additional evidence regarding the investigation into the sinking.

China did not respond to Clinton's comments, but earlier in the day, its foreign ministry repeated its request for restraint (FT) from both sides on the Korean Peninsula. It also said China had no firsthand information on the ship's sinking.


In the London Times, Rosemary Righter says South Korea's two-decade-long hope that it could tame North Korea through a "sunshine policy" of aid and economic cooperation has ended.

A Guardian editorial says while Hillary Clinton has not gotten any public commitment from China, it seems likely the Chinese will apply some pressure. But China-U.S. cooperation won't go very deep, since the two countries differ greatly on the Korean Peninsula's future.

The United States, South Korea, and Japan have displayed solidarity in response to ramped-up tensions with North Korea, but China needs to be more active in crisis diplomacy, says CFR's Sheila Smith.


Check out CFR's interactive, multimedia guide to the dispute between North and South Korea.

PACIFIC RIM: China Offers Little in Talks with U.S.


The two-day Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the United States and China ended Tuesday with some agreement on currency and trade issues, though China offered few major concessions (WSJ).



- Iran Pressures U.S., Russia on Fuel Swap
- EU to Announce Bank Levy Proposal

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