The UN Security Council condemned the sinking of a South Korean corvette Cheonan and stressed the need to prevent similar attacks in the region.
The 1,200-ton South Korean warship sank near the disputed Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea on March 26, causing the loss of 46 lives. South Korea says it has proof that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang denies the attack.
"The Security Council condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan," the 15-member Security Council said in a statement on Saturday.
An international investigation concluded that North Korea fired a torpedo at the vessel from a submarine, although Pyongyang has denied the allegations.
Pyongyang claims the incident was "orchestrated" by the United States in order to "hype the threat from North Korea" ahead of "Congress midterm elections slated for the coming November".
The UN Security Council also encouraged "the settlement of outstanding issues on the Korean peninsula by peaceful means to resume direct dialogue and negotiation through appropriate channels as early as possible, with a view to avoiding conflicts and averting escalation".
South Korea recently froze economic relations and maritime communications with its northern neighbor, further crippling the North's economy, which is already damaged by UN sanctions intended to force it to quit its nuclear program.