South Korean President Addresses Nation on Sinking of Ship; Says North Korea “Will Pay a Price” – Video
Here is complete video (with translation) of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak addressing his nation on the sinking of their ship – the Cheonan – by North Korea. President Lee drew a line in the sand by saying the North would no longer be allowed to use South Korean shipping lanes. He also warned that if North Korea violates their airspace, or waters, the South “will immediately exercise our right of self-defense.” Here is the text of the President’s Speech:
Via Korean Times
Fellow Koreans, I am standing here today, keenly aware that the Korean Peninsula is facing a critical turning point.
My fellow citizens, The Cheonan was sunk by a surprise North Korean torpedo attack. Again, the perpetrator was North Korea. Their attack came at a time when the people of the Republic of Korea were enjoying their well-earned rest after a hard day’s work. Once again, North Korea violently shattered our peace.
The sinking of the Cheonan constitutes a military provocation against the Republic of Korea by North Korea.
Since the end of the Korean War, the North has perpetrated incessant armed provocations against us, including the bombing attack against the presidential delegation at the Aung San Martyr’s Mausoleum in Myanmar and the bombing in midair of Korean Air Flight 858. The North Koreans, however, have never officially admitted the crimes they committed. This time is no different. They continue to insist that my Government fabricated the sinking of the Cheonan.
I am not surprised by such North Korean behavior and this was the reason why I emphasized, from the very beginning, the importance of conducting a thorough and objective scientific investigation into the incident. I also asked the nation to exercise patience and self-restraint. It was important for us not to come to any hasty conclusion until the results of the investigation came out.
Finally, on May 20th, the international joint investigation group released their conclusive findings, backed by definitive evidences. With the release of the final report, no responsible country in the international community will be able to deny the fact that the Cheonan was sunk by North Korea.
Fellow citizens, We have always tolerated North Korea’s brutality, time and again. We did so because we have always had a genuine longing for peace on the Korean Peninsula. But now things are different. North Korea will pay a price corresponding to its provocative acts. I will continue to take stern measures to hold the North accountable.
From this moment, no North Korean ship will be allowed to make passage through any of the shipping lanes in the waters under our control, which has been allowed by the Inter-Korean Agreement on Maritime Transportation. The sea routes meant for inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation must never again be used for armed provocations.
Trade and exchanges between the Republic of Korea and North Korea will also be suspended. We still remember the killing of an innocent South Korean tourist by a North Korean armed guard at the Mt. Kumgang resort. More recently, North Korea unilaterally confiscated South Korean assets at this same resort. Worse yet, the North sank the Cheonan taking the precious lives of our young sailors. Under these circumstances, any inter-Korean trade or other cooperative activity is meaningless. However, we will continue to provide assistance for infants and children. Matters pertaining to the Kaesong Industrial Complex will be duly considered, taking its unique characteristics into consideration.
From now on, the Republic of Korea will not tolerate any provocative act by the North and will maintain the principle of proactive deterrence. If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense. . . . Read More