North Korea 'must face consequences'

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Hillary Clinton has said the evidence is "overwhelming" that a North Korean submarine sank a South Korean warship and warned that the communist country must face international consequences for its actions.

Speaking in Tokyo at the outset of a three-nation Asian trip yesterday, the US Secretary of State said America, Japan, South Korea and China are consulting on an appropriate reaction to an investigation which blamed North Korea for the incident.

She said the report proves a North Korean vessel fired a torpedo which sank the ship, the Cheonan, in March and that it could no longer be "business as usual" in dealing with the matter. While it was "premature" to discuss exact actions that will be taken in response, Mrs Clinton said it was "important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences".

"The evidence is overwhelming and condemning," she said.