The United Nations Security Council has condemned an attack leading to the sinking of a South Korean warship , but has stopped short of directly blaming North Korea.
By not identifying an attacker, the council statement was able to win consent from North Korea's ally China, and gain unanimous approval.
It also avoided further alienating North Korea, which the West wants to draw back to talks on ending its nuclear programme.
North Korea's UN ambassador described the statement as a "great diplomatic victory" for his country.
South Korea has blamed the sinking on 26 March, which killed 46 of its sailors, on a North Korean torpedo attack. In June, it took the issue to the Security Council, requesting action to deter "further provocation by North Korea."
The council expressed "deep concern" over findings by a South Korean-led inquiry that North Korea had sunk the naval corvette Cheonan but noted that Pyongyang had denied responsibility.