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McCaskill Details U.S. Role in Korea Tensions

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Following an unprovoked attack on a South Korean naval vessel by its neighbor to the north, the United States has been outspoken in its disapproval of North Korea’s action. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the story.

The Obama administration expects China to join in the international criticism of North Korea’s attack on a South Korean warship that led to the death of 46 sailors in March.

Senator Claire McCaskill says the U.S. Navy is an important factor in this equation.

“This is where the strength of our navy and our carriers are very important. Our ability to be strategically available is so important to stability in the world because we can move carriers into place and our FAA teams that are on those carrier decks, that are built by the great men and women in St. Louis, area very important right now,” she says.

Following discussions between the U.S. and China this week, a senior American official commented that China is expected to move closer to South Korea’s position that the North must be held accountable for the torpedo attack.

As the situation continues to develop, McCaskill says she fully expects that the United States will have an active involvement in the affairs between the two countries.

“We are going to be monitoring very carefully what is going on between North and South Korea. It is unfortunate that North Korea is clearly governed by someone who doesn’t respect the world in terms of peace and stability and I think South Korea is in a very difficult position,” she says.

While China is North Korea’s closest ally, the U.S. administration expects China to begin its shift away from North Korea this weekend, when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Seoul.

An international investigation into the torpedo attack found that North Korea was to blame. North Korea denies attacking the ship.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.