It is sort of rare for a Secretary General — and Ban Ki Moon in particular — to say that the Security Council should take action on a particular issue. (The M.O. tends to be extreme deference to the Security Council.)  So it was fairly notable that this morning, in reference to North Korea’s alleged sinking of a South Korean naval ship,  that Ban told press: “I’m confident that the council, in fulfilling its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, will take measures appropriate to the gravity of the situation.”

Meanwhile, Japan, the United States, and South Korea are all on board with Security Council action of some sort.  The big variable right now is China, where Hillary Clinton happens to be visiting. 

So far, the Chinese are non-committal, but watch to  see if Hillary Clinton can help change some minds in Beijing before she leaves. 

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