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Civic group protests China's stance on N. Korean attack as nation denounces communist Pyongyang
By Kim Eun-jung
SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Yonhap) -- Hundreds of conservative activists rallied in front of the Chinese embassy in Seoul Monday, demanding Beijing to act strongly against its ally Pyongyang for the deadly attack on a South Korean island last week.

   Some 300 members of the Korea Freedom Federation (KFF) waved picket signs and shouted slogans urging the Chinese government to take steps to condemn the North's shelling of the South's Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23. The artillery strike killed two marines and two civilians and left the island in ruins.

   "China is the only country that can exert an absolute influence over to North Korea. Therefore, the world is watching China's response to the North's military provocation," Park Chang-dal, the KFF president, said in a statement. "The Chinese government should stop acting like a guardian of North Korea and cooperate with the global community to strongly condemn the North's atrocities in order to maintain peace and stability in the Northeast Asian region."

   Blame on Beijing mounted after it proposed holding multilateral nuclear talks to ease tension arising from the North's attack, rejecting international calls for it to pressure the North to stop its provocations. The South Korean government has in effect rejected the proposal as not timely when the country has come under attack.

   The KFF spurned China's proposal, calling it "a diplomatic show of standing up for North Korea."

   "If China continues to look on the North's brutal act with its arms folded, it will not be able to avoid being isolated in the international community," Park said.

   The group said it will hold a massive rally in downtown Seoul Tuesday with members from across the nation participating.

   China, the North's only major ally that provides food and financial aid to prop up the Pyongyang regime, refuses to speak publicly against North Korea. It has yet to clearly blame the North for the March 26 sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on a Pyongyang torpedo attack.

  
Members of conservative civic group Korea Freedom Federation rally in front of Chinese embassy on Nov. 29 demanding Beijing condemn North Korea for its attack on South Korean island. (Yonhap)


Rallies denouncing North Korea opened nationwide Monday, with local councils unanimous resolutions and civic groups holding joint rallies.

   A coalition of some 80 groups gathered in front of a railway station deploring North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong.

   Some 2,000 participants looked on as protesters burned North Korean flags and pictures of the country's leader, Kim Jong-il, and his heir apparent son Kim Jong-un.

   City councils in Incheon and provincial councils in North Gyeongsang and North Chungcheong Provinces adopted resolutions decrying the North's attack and pressing the South Korean government to take countermeasures.

   ejkim@yna.co.kr
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