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SKorea defense official says naval exercises a go

 South Korean students walk by a picture showing a North Korean child suffering from famine at Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, ...
 A South Korean elderly man is reflected in the list of the fallen soldiers in the Korean War at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Thur...
 Visitors look at a reproduction of life of refugees of Korean War at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 15, 2010. Milita...
 A South Korean student walks by a picture showing North Korean's daily foods at Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 15, 2010....
 Amnesty International Asia-Pacific researcher Norma Kang Muico speaks about a research report on the state of North Korea's health care system during...
 A South Korean student takes a picture of a poster of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, painted by North Korean defector Sun Moo, at the Korean War ex...
 South Korean Army soldiers walk by a signboard showing distances to North Korea's capital Pyongyang and that for South's capital Seoul at the Imjinga...
 South Korean Army soldiers walk by a signboard showing distances to North Korea's capital Pyongyang and that for South's capital Seoul at the Imjinga...
 A South Korean tourist looks to the North through a pair of binoculars at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Panmunj...
 South Korean tourists pass by the barbed-wire fence at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Panmunjom, South Korea, Th...

South Korea North Korea Crumbling Health Care

South Korean students walk by a picture showing a North Korean child suffering from famine at Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, ...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

A South Korean elderly man is reflected in the list of the fallen soldiers in the Korean War at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Thur...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

Visitors look at a reproduction of life of refugees of Korean War at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 15, 2010. Milita...

South Korea North Korea Crumbling Health Care

A South Korean student walks by a picture showing North Korean's daily foods at Korean War exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 15, 2010....

South Korea North Korea Crumbling Health Care

Amnesty International Asia-Pacific researcher Norma Kang Muico speaks about a research report on the state of North Korea's health care system during...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

A South Korean student takes a picture of a poster of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, painted by North Korean defector Sun Moo, at the Korean War ex...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

South Korean Army soldiers walk by a signboard showing distances to North Korea's capital Pyongyang and that for South's capital Seoul at the Imjinga...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

South Korean Army soldiers walk by a signboard showing distances to North Korea's capital Pyongyang and that for South's capital Seoul at the Imjinga...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

A South Korean tourist looks to the North through a pair of binoculars at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Panmunj...

South Korea Koreas Ship Sinks

South Korean tourists pass by the barbed-wire fence at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) of Panmunjom, South Korea, Th...

A U.S.-South Korean naval exercise in the Yellow Sea will soon be held as planned despite protests from China and North Korea, a top South Korean defense official said Thursday.
The naval exercise will go ahead "in the near future" though a U.S. aircraft carrier will only participate in the East Sea and not in the Yellow Sea near China's territorial waters, said South Korean Vice Defense Minister Chang Soo-man.
"I don't think that China will have a severe reaction, because China's major point was that there should be no U.S. ship" nearby, said Chang, the No. 2 official in the Ministry of National Defense.
South Korea and the U.S. have called the sinking a violation of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953, while Pyongyang denied responsibility and warned any punishment would trigger war.
China's Foreign Ministry repeated Thursday its objections to U.S.-South Korean naval exercises, saying they would threaten Chinese interests and unsettle an already tense region.
Chang said during a brief presentation and followup question-and-answer session that the "major purpose is to give threat to North Korea" as a response to the March deadly sinking of a South Korean warship. And he said North Korea has 30 to 40 kilograms (66 to 88 pounds) of weaponized plutonium. That would be enough for up to half a dozen or more bombs.
"North Korea may protest, but I don't think that will be a problem," he said. "Despite the provocation, the two Koreas are maintaining a minimum level of cooperation."
Chang said South Korea also "will soon have another anti-submarine naval exercise."
An international investigation in May concluded a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sank the 1,200-ton Cheonan near the tense Korean sea border, killing 46 South Korean sailors.
"We are thinking (that it was) a North Korean submarine, not a big one, but a small one, 300 or 400 tons size," that fired upon the Cheonan, Chang said.
The U.N. Security Council approved a statement that condemned the sinking, but it stopped short of directly blaming North Korea. The U.N. Command, which oversees the armistice, separately investigated whether the sinking violated the truce, though the findings have not been disclosed.


Updated : 2021-01-25 03:59 GMT+08:00