The international community reacted with outrage to the North Korean artillery attack, but urged caution.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shelling and called for immediate restraint.
The United States wants a “measured and unified” approach backed by major powers including China.
Mark Toner, the US State Department Deputy Spokesman, said: “I think that everybody involved is stunned by North Korea’s provocative actions. I believe the president referred to it as ‘outrageous’, and that we are working, again, within an established framework with our partners so that we have a deliberate approach to this. We’re not going to respond willy nilly.”
Russia is also among the many countries calling for a halt to all hostilities.
“I think what happened has to be condemned,” said the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. “This could escalate into war. This is a massive danger, which must be avoided using all means available.”
Tokyo put out a statement that severely criticised Pyongyang for its attacks on civilian targets and expressed strong support for South Korea. The government called for an “immediate end to this kind of action.”
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