Monday, December 13, 2010

N Korea gives fresh warning to South

North Korea has warned that the cooperation between the US and South Korea could bring a nuclear war to the already volatile Korean Peninsula.

The warning comes after South Korea began fresh military drills amid lingering tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The drills are scheduled to run from Monday to Friday at 27 different locations. 

The regularly-scheduled exercises are receiving special attention following a North Korean artillery attack on frontline Yeonpyeong Island that claimed the lives of two South Korean marines and two civilians. 

In a show of unity, top diplomats from South Korea, the US and Japan met in Washington last week and said they would not resume negotiations aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program until the country's behavior changed. 

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited South Korea last week and warned Pyongyang to stop its "belligerent, reckless behavior." 

The November 23 artillery barrage, the North's first assault to target a civilian area since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, began after the North accused South Korea of having fired the salvo toward its territorial waters. 

South Korea said it had fired shells southwards, not towards North Korea, as part of routine exercises. 

After the attack, South Korea staged joint military drills with the United States and pushed ahead with more artillery exercises despite the North's warning that they would aggravate tension. 

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer tried to play down the significance of this week's drills, saying they were part of routine military exercises and would not occur near the disputed western Korean sea border where last month's attack took place. 

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