Talking North Korea

By Zachary M. Peterson / May 20, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead weighed in today on the announcement this morning that a North Korean torpedo was responsible for the sinking of a Republic of Korea ship in March. The sinking of the Cheonan killed 46 Korean sailors.

"I think it's in the best interest of all countries, specifically those in the Western Pacific an area that is so vital to the global economy, that the nations and navies in that area come together to address the problem and hold North Korea to account," Roughead said following a luncheon speech at the National Press Club. "I think that all the countries have that obligation."

The Navy chief noted he does not determine what actions are taken by the United States or any other sovereign nation, yet he argued the incident is "a matter that needs to be addressed by the international community." Roughead spoke at the Center for Oceans Law and Policy conference on "United States Interests in Prompt Adherence to the Law of the Sea Convention."

In a separate statement released this morning, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) called the behavior of the North Korean navy "unacceptable."

“Today’s report suggests that North Korea has once again defied international law and undermined international peace and security, in direct violation of the Armistice Agreement," Skelton said in the statement. "Such behavior is unacceptable."