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South Korea's defence minister has said those responsible for the deaths of 46 sailors on board a warship that sank after an explosion must "pay a price".
Kim Tae-young promised "punitive action" against "the perpetrators who killed our soldiers."
A trip to China by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appears imminent, a South Korean government source said Sunday.
The North's leader "has not crossed into China yet, but it appears highly likely that his Chinese trip would come either today or tomorrow as a considerable level of preparations have been done," the source said on condition of anonymity.