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Canada condemns North Korean 'aggression'

Smoke rises from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island after an artillery attack by North Korea on Nov. 23, 2010.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined other world leaders Wednesday in condemning the artillery attack by North Korea on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed two soldiers and two civilians.

The attack was the heaviest bombardment visited by North Korea on South Korea since the war between them ended in 1953.

"This is the latest in a series of aggressive and provocative actions by North Korea, which continue to represent a grave threat to international security and stability in northeast Asia," Mr. Harper said in a statement.

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"Canada will continue to condemn all acts of aggression by North Korea in violation of international law."

Ottawa, which recently tightened diplomatic sanctions against Pyongyang, also offered sympathy to relatives of the two dead South Korean marines.

"On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my condolences to the families of those who were killed and injured as a result of this unprovoked attack," Mr. Harper said.

"Canada reiterates its firm support to the Republic of Korea, and urges North Korea to refrain from further reckless and belligerent actions and to abide by the Korean Armistice Agreement."

In October, Canada adopted a "controlled engagement policy" toward North Korea.

That meant Ottawa terminated all official bilateral contacts between the government of Canada and the North Korean regime, with the exception of those necessary to address regional security concerns, human rights and the humanitarian situation there.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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