Seoul: South Korea will hold military
exercises with the United States after any possible UN action
against North Korea over its alleged sinking of a South Korean
warship, the South Korea`s military said on Tuesday.
Seoul has asked the UN Security Council to punish
Pyongyang over the sinking, which killed 46 South Korean
sailors on board. North Korea denies involvement and has
warned any punishment would trigger war.
South Korea "will conduct the drills by linking them to
the result" of possible UN Security Council action against the
North, said Col Lee Bung-woo, a spokesman for South Korea`s
Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He did not elaborate on the exact timing and scale of the
drills off South Korea`s western coast. The exercises were
originally scheduled for last month.
Seoul`s announcement came days after China held live-fire
drills off its eastern coast in what were seen as a response
to the planned joint naval exercises by Washington and Seoul.
China- the North`s closest ally and a veto-wielding
Security Council member- has voiced concern that the joint
South Korean-US drills could prompt further rash behaviour
from North Korea`s isolated regime.
South Korea and the US are pushing for Security Council
action against Pyongyang. But the outlook is unclear as
permanent members China and Russia have yet to clearly say
whether they believe North Korea was responsible for the
Also today, North Korea`s Foreign Ministry repeated
Pyongyang`s demand that its own investigators be permitted to
go to the South to verify the result of an international
investigation led by South Korea that implicated the North.
Seoul has rejected the North`s request.