(CNN) - The White House issued a statement Monday morning supporting South Korea's decision to suspend trade and toughen its military stance toward North Korea.
The statement said measures announced by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Monday are "called for and entirely appropriate." Lee's speech came in the wake of an official investigation's findings that North Korea fired a torpedo on a South Korean warship.
"Specifically, we endorse President Lee's demand that North Korea immediately apologize and punish those responsible for the attack, and, most importantly, stop its belligerent and threatening behavior," the White House statement said. "U.S. support for South Korea's defense is unequivocal, and the President has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their Republic of Korea counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression."