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US, South Korea deploy navy at Yellow Sea, China calls for talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Beijing, Nov 28, IRNA -- Joint U.S.-South Korean naval exercises began at the Yellow Sea on Sunday as North Korea prepared surface-to-surface missiles on launchpads and China called for emergency meeting.

The maneuvers followed a North Korean artillery attack last week that killed four and injured 20 on South Korean-controlled Yeonpyeong Island.

Seoul and Pyongyang both blame the other for the attack, which South Korea called the first Northern strike against Southern territory in more than half a century.

China called for an emergency meeting of the six principal countries involved: itself, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Reacting to the growing sense of crisis in the region, China’s foreign ministry hastily called a press briefing Sunday afternoon, with Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei calling for “emergency consultations” to be held in early December in Beijing.

“China is opposed to all actions that undermine peace and stability on the peninsula.”

The bombardment of the island was the first attack on a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War, and it enraged the South Koreans far more than previous provocations by the North, including its nuclear weapons tests and the sinking in March of a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors. Despite the findings of an international investigation, North Korea denies responsibility for the sinking.

The North has said that the Tuesday attack was carried out in response to South Korean artillery drills earlier that day on the island, which sits within sight of the North Korean mainland. On the morning of the attack, North Korea warned South Korea not to conduct the drills.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30096335

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