ABC News' Kirit Radia reports:
The United Nations Security Council is expected to approve a statement Friday morning condemning the attack on a South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, on March 26 that killed 46 sailors.
The draft document, obtained by ABC News, can be read HERE.
“This important statement shows the council’s unity in confronting threats to peace and security. It underscores the importance of preventing further attacks and emphasizes the critical need to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the larger region,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told reporters after a meeting of the Security Council this afternoon.
The five permanent members of the Security Council plus Japan and South Korea agreed on the draft text today after diplomatic wrangling in order to get the support of China, which has been reluctant to blame North Korea for the sinking.
The draft text condemns the attack on the ship, the Cheonan, but doesn’t expressly condemn North Korea, a concession for Chinese support.
The statement does, however, hint at North Korea’s culpability, though it does note Pyongyang’s denial of any responsibility. It embraces a South Korean-led investigation that determined the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo and says the incident is a violation of the Korean armistice agreement.
Rice sidestepped a question about the delicate diplomatic word, saying, “We think the statement is very clear. It puts forth the factual foundation and it expresses the council’s judgment that the attack on the ship is to be condemned and that no further attacks against the Republic of Korea should be contemplated.”