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China continues opposition to US-SKorea wargames


BEIJING (AFP): China has repeated its opposition to the planned US-South Korean wargames off its coast, calling for restraint to avoid escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, state media reported.

The United States said it would likely hold joint exercises with South Korea in the Yellow Sea in the near future, raising tensions with North Korea ahead of key military talks with Pyongyang.

North Korea's military on Thursday held talks with the United Nations Command, the first since the sinking of a South Korean warship, after postponing the meeting from Tuesday for “administrative reasons.”

Only hours before the start of the meeting, the Pentagon said the US intended to hold joint military exercises with South Korea, despite previous objections from China, the North's main ally.

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang played down suggestions that China and North Korea could respond with military drills of their own, however, and was quoted by the official Xinhua news agency as saying the idea demonstrated “a typical Cold war mindset.”

“The hypothesis (of conducting a drill) means dividing the region into different military alliances and viewing regional security from an angle of opposition and confrontation as in the Cold war era,” he was quoted as saying.

“Times have changed. No single country or military alliance can resolve issues like regional security and stability.”

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