China calls for calm on Korean peninsula

2013-02-05 00:41:37 GMT2013-02-05 08:41:37(Beijing Time)

The Chinese foreign ministry has issued a statement, calling for calm on the Korean Peninsula.

The comments come following the beginning of a joint military drill between South Korea and the United States in the region.

South Korea and the United States have begun a three-day joint naval military drill.

The scheduled exercise, involving a U.S. nuclear submarine, come after North Korea said it was planning to carry out its third nuclear test.

The joint maneuver by the allies is taking place in waters off the East Coast of the Korean peninsula.

South Korean warships are also going to be mobilized during the drill.

The U.S. and South Korea have promised "significant consequences" if it goes ahead with the underground explosion.

However, military commentator Song Zhongping, says the U.S. and South Korea don't hope to resort to military means to solve the Korean nuclear issue.

"The strategic depth of the Korean Peninsula is rather limited, if they use military means, for example to strike North Korea's nuclear facilities, it's going to create a terrible nuclear crisis, or even nuclear pollution. It's going to pose a huge threat to South Korea, China and Russia."

North Korea has vowed to proceed with it's "high-level nuclear test" and continue long-rocket launches to protest new U.N. sanctions over its December 12th satellite launch.

It maintains that the launch of scientific and technological satellites is for peaceful purposes.

Meantime, the Chinese government is calling for calm.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said: "In the current situation, we urge all sides not to take any action that will increase regional tension. We hope that all relevant sides can do more to encourage an easing in the situation on the peninsula and in the region, and together protect peace and stability on the peninsula."

Editor: Yu Runze
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