April 23, 2010 / 11:42 AM / 9 years ago

Clinton urges North Korea to avoid provocative actions

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (2nd L) visits a construction site of the Heechon Power Plant at an undisclosed place in North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's official news agency KCNA, April 18, 2010. REUTERS/KCNA

TALLINN (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday that North Korea should not take provocative actions following allegations it may have sunk a South Korean ship, and should resume talks on ending its nuclear programs.

“We have said time and time again that the North Koreans should not engage in provocative actions, and that they should return to six-party talks,” she told reporters at a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Estonia.

South Korea on Friday gave the clearest signal to date that it had no plan to launch a revenge attack if it turns out, as widely suspected, that North Korea sank one of its navy vessels last month near their disputed border.

The reclusive North says it had nothing to do with the downing of the Cheonan, which sank after an explosion, killing 46 sailors. A South Korean military intelligence report leaked to the local media said the North had almost certainly torpedoed the ship.

“I hope that there is no talk of war, there is no action or miscalculation that could provoke a response that might lead to conflict. That’s not in anyone’s interests,” Clinton added.

“The way to resolve the outstanding differences among not only the North and South Koreans but the neighbours, including ourselves, is to return to the six-party talks framework as soon as possible.”

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Editing by Kevin Liffey

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