Responding to Cheonan warship sinking, US and South Korea confirm war games
To show North Korea their strength after it sank the Cheonan warship, the US and South Korea today announced a joint antisubmarine drill. China has objected, citing security concerns.
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The exercise is aimed at showing muscle to North Korea after it allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship on March 26. China does not acknowledge the North’s responsibility in the attack on the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors.
Beijing made an official objection to the war games Thursday, saying they would “undermine China's security interests in the Yellow Sea” and worsen the situation with North Korea. But on Friday South Korea said the exercises, originally planned for June, would proceed, reports Agence France-Presse.
"The date and methods have not yet been decided but the South Korea-US joint military exercise will be carried out," said defence ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae.
"The joint exercise in the Yellow Sea is being planned as North Korea carried out an illegal provocation, the sinking of the Cheonan." [...]
The drill was originally set for last month but was delayed until the United Nations Security Council wrapped up discussions on the sinking.
The UN was set Friday to condemn the attacks on the Cheonan. But the Security Council statement – agreed upon by China and the US – does not point the finger at North Korea. The document merely “takes note” of Pyongyang’s denial of involvement, according to Bloomberg.
An editorial in Beijing’s Global Times, the sister paper to the communist People’s Daily, blames tension in the region on the South Korean government for “binding itself to the US” and “abandoning” reconciliatory efforts toward the North.