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PV 16/06/2010 - 14
CRE 16/06/2010 - 14

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PV 17/06/2010 - 7.13
CRE 17/06/2010 - 7.13
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Thursday, 17 June 2010 - Strasbourg
Situation in the Korean Peninsula

European Parliament resolution of 17 June 2010 on the situation in the Korean Peninsula

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on matters relating to the Korean Peninsula,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2009/1002/CFSP of 22 December 2009,

–  having regard to the statement of 20 May 2010 by the High Representative/Vice-President, Catherine Ashton, on the publication of the report on the sinking of the Republic of Korea (ROK) ship Cheonan,

–  having regard to the report entitled ‘Investigation Result on the Sinking of ROKS ’Cheonan'‘,

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009),

–  having regard to Rule 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas tensions in the Korean Peninsula have dramatically increased since the sinking of the Cheonan on 26 March 2010, with the tragic loss of 46 lives,

B.  whereas parts of a CHT-02D torpedo were retrieved from the seabed on 15 May 2010,

C.  whereas the High Representative/Vice-President, Catherine Ashton, has condemned the sinking of the Cheonan as a heinous and deeply irresponsible action,

D.  whereas an inquiry carried out by an international Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group (JIG) by means of an investigation and verification process undertaken on the basis of an objective scientific approach showed clear, indisputable evidence that the Cheonan was sunk as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as did an independent assessment by the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee,

E.  whereas all submarines from other neighbouring countries were either in or near their bases at the time of the incident,

F.  whereas the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, has described the report's findings as ‘deeply troubling’,

G.  whereas the ROK Government has demanded a public apology and a promise that there will be no further provocations by the DPRK authorities,

H.  whereas the DPRK Government has denied any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, accusing the ROK of ‘fabrication’, and has threatened open war in the event that the ROK imposes further sanctions,

I.  whereas the DPRK's armed forces have continued with provocative and reckless military acts, such as the killing of three Chinese nationals on the People's Republic of China-DPRK border on 4 June 2010,

J.  whereas, as a result of the incident, the ROK has announced the suspension of all relations with the DPRK, with the exception of humanitarian aid and operations connected with the Kaesong Industrial Complex,

K.  whereas the ROK Government has stated that it will not return to the six-party talks until appropriate measures have been taken in respect of the DPRK,

L.  whereas the EU strongly supports the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and considers the resumption of the six-party talks to be essential for peace and stability in the region,

M.  whereas the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation have not yet taken a clear position on the Joint Investigation Group's final report and conclusions,

N.  whereas the ROK has formally referred the issue to the UN Security Council for debate, while the DPRK has written to the President of the UN Security Council denying all responsibility for the attack and encouraging the Security Council to help the DPRK carry out its own investigations,

1.  Deeply regrets the tragic loss of life aboard the South Korean corvette Cheonan, and conveys its sympathy to the ROK Government, the families of the deceased, and the Korean people in a spirit of solidarity and friendship;

2.  Echoes the High Representative/Vice-President's condemnation of the attack, and commends the restraint shown by the ROK;

3.  Acknowledges the conclusions of the Joint Investigation Group's final report, according to which the sinking of the vessel was caused by a North Korean torpedo, and firmly condemns the sinking as a provocative act against peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula;

4.  Expresses disappointment that the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation have still not taken a clear position on the conclusions of the Joint Investigation Group's final report;

5.  Calls on both parties to exercise restraint, to use every possible means to improve inter-Korean relations and to step up their efforts to promote lasting peace and security in the Korean Peninsula;

6.  Calls on the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, closely to examine the Joint Investigation Group's final report and conclusions;

7.  Calls on the People's Republic of China – a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the DPRK'S main trading ally – to exert an appropriate positive influence on the DPRK and to attempt to ensure that the conflict does not escalate further;

8.  Expresses its support for the ROK Government's referral of the matter to the UN Security Council;

9.  Calls on the countries involved in the six-party talks to continue working together to ensure that the talks on ending the DPRK's nuclear programme are resumed;

10.  Calls on the Commission to maintain existing humanitarian aid programmes and keep communication channels with the DPRK open, as these aid programmes directly affect people's living conditions in the DPRK;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the President of the Council, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and candidate countries, the UN Secretary-General and the ROK and DPRK Governments.

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