|South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, sinks near South Korea's Baeknyeong Island, close to DPRK, in the western waters on Saturday, March 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
SEOUL, May 21 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Friday called the torpedo attack on one of its warships a "military provocation" by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and a violation of the armistice agreement between the two sides.
Lee made the remarks at an emergency meeting of his National Security Council (NSC) convened to discuss follow-up measures to deal with the Cheonan incident.
During the three-hour meeting, Lee said "the sinking of the Cheonan was a surprise military attack by the North at a late hour when the people were taking a good rest after a day's work," according to a press release issued by the presidential office.
Lee said the incident constitutes a "military provocation" which is in contravention of the UN Charter, the Korean War Armistice Agreement and the Basic Agreement between the two sides.
The armistice agreement was signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, and has since left the two sides technically at war, while the 1991 Basic Agreement obliges the two sides not to invade each other and to work together toward reconciliation.
Describing the incident as "serious and grave," Lee said "there must not be a single mistake when taking countermeasures." The government has to remain cautious, he added.