North Korea "Readies Missiles"

Manila Bulletin, November 28, 2010 | Go to article overview

North Korea "Readies Missiles"


YEONPYEONG, South Korea (Reuters) - North Korea has placed surface-to-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, as the United States and South Korea began military exercises and China said it would try to ensure peace.South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told a visiting Chinese delegation that Beijing, North Korea's only major ally which is traditionally reluctant to criticize the reclusive regime, should do more to help.China, which agreed with South Korea that the situation was "worrisome," would try to stop it deteriorating, the delegation responded, the presidential Blue House and Chinese media said.Yonhap also said North Korea had moved surface-to-air missiles to frontline areas, days after it shelled a tiny South Korean island killing four people. The North's official KCNA news agency warned of retaliatory action if its territory is violated.South Korea's Defense Ministry told journalists to leave the island, Yeonpyeong, because the situation was "bad." Many residents evacuated earlier said they did not want to return."We will deliver a brutal military blow on any provocation which violates our territorial waters," KCNA said.Officials from South Korea's Defense Ministry and the joint chiefs said they could not comment on the Yonhap report. "It is impossible to confirm the report as it is classified as military secret," an official said.The exercises, in waters far south of the disputed maritime boundary, are being held in the face of opposition by China and threats of all-out war from North Korea.PRESSURE ON CHINAThe chairman of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly will visit China from Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said. Lee told Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo, who outranks Foreign Minister Yang Jiechie, that Beijing, with its growing international influence, should do more to help ensure peace.China has not taken sides in the conflict and declined to blame North Korea, unlike the United States, for the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March."We ask that China make a contribution to peace on the Korean peninsula by taking a more fair and responsible position on South-North Korea ties," the presidential Blue House quoted Lee as telling Dai."The Chinese side conveyed the message of condolences for the South Korean victims of the Yeonpyeong incident and said it would make efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating for the sake of peace between the South and North," Lee's spokesman said.

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