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China says joint US-South Korea exercises in Yellow Sea, provocative

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Beijing, Nov 25, IRNA -- China on Thursday expressed concern about joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the Yellow Sea, while North Korea threatened further attacks on the South if there were more 'provocations.'

'We have noted the relevant reports and express our concern about this,' spokesman Hong Lei said, referring to the joint military exercises next week and the involvement of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington in the drill.

But Beijing has previously used stronger language to signal its displeasure. In August, the People's Liberation Army said earlier plans to send the George Washington to the Yellow Sea would make it lose respect and threatened long-term damage to Sino-U.S. relations.

North Korea fired a barrage of artillery shells at island of Yeonpyeong off the peninsula's west coast on Tuesday, killing two civilians and two soldiers and destroying dozens of houses.

IRNA reporter in Seoul said that South Korea is shocked with civilian casualties. He said that at least 18 people including a dozen soldiers were wounded in the heavy bombardment at Yeonpyeong island.

Houses were deserted with most residents having fled to the mainland, many with their roofs caved in and charred black. Broken glass was strewn in the narrow alleyways.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30091476

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