News / Asia

China Urges Restraint As US, South Korea Plan New Drills

China is appealing for all sides to avoid inflaming tensions with North Korea as the United States and South Korea conclude a major naval exercise in the Yellow Sea.

But South Korean Defense Ministry officials said Wednesday they are in talks for another major exercise with the United States to take place as early as this month.  South Korea is also planning its own live-fire artillery drills to take place next week.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the military command saying one of the exercises would take place near Daecheong Island, located just south of the two Koreas' disputed maritime border in the Yellow Sea. North Korea launched a deadly artillery attack on another island while South Korean forces were conducting a similar drill last week, firing into waters that both countries claim as their own.

In Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi saying all sides should "keep calm and exercise restraint." He is the highest ranking Chinese official to comment on the crisis.

Show of force

The joint naval exercise ending Wednesday was the largest in a series of drills staged by South Korea and the U.S. in recent months. It involved thousands of sailors, 75 aircraft and 10 warships including the nuclear-powered USS George Washington.

South Korean officials said they have not yet decided on the timing or nature of the next joint exercise. They said it would come later this month or early next year.

In New York, diplomats say China is blocking efforts at the United Nations Security Council to draw up a statement condemning North Korea for its attack on Yeonpyeong island and its development of a uranium enrichment facility.

Diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity told news services that China was unwilling to permit the use of the word "condemn" or say North Korea is in "violation" of U.N. resolutions.

Early last week, North Korea fired more than 100 artillery shells at a military garrison on the island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians and causing widespread damage. South Korea since then has reinforced its garrison and evacuated most of the island's civilian residents.

North Korean nuclear buildup

Earlier this month, a U.S. scientist said he was shown a sophisticated uranium enrichment facility in North Korea and that he had seen more than 1,000 centrifuges in operation. Pyongyang has since claimed the facility has "thousands" of working centrifuges.

North Korea says the uranium is being enriched to power a light water reactor under construction, but foreign officials fear it could be used to make fuel for nuclear weapons.

Crisis talks

Diplomatic efforts to diffuse the tension continue on several fronts.

Foreign ministers from the United States, South Korea and Japan are to meet in Washington next week, and the issue could also come up with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at an international conference this week in Kazakhstan.

Choe Thae Bok, a close confidante of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, is in Beijing for talks, and Japan said Tuesday it was sending a senior official to China to exchange views on the situation.

China is pressing for an urgent conference to be attended by China, the United States, Japan, Russia and the two Koreas. But Washington and Tokyo have shown little interest, saying North Korea must first show it is serious about giving up its nuclear programs.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid