France condemns 'murderous' North Korea
France condemned a torpedo attack on a South Korean naval ship Thursday and called on chief suspect North Korea to halt what Paris branded its "murderous violence".
An international panel concluded Thursday that on March 26 a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the South Korean warship Cheonan with the loss of 46 lives near the neighbours' disputed maritime border.
A spokesman for the French foreign ministry said Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had been briefed by his South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-hwan on the results of the inquiry and had offered France's "full solidarity".
"We call upon North Korea to abandon the path of murderous violence and to return to the path of international legality, to engage in a peaceful dialogue and return to the negotiating table," the spokesman said.
North Korea, a totalitarian pariah state, has denied responsibility for the attack, and has warned of "full-scale war" if new sanctions are imposed on it.
© 2010 AFP