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Russian, Chinese foreign ministers discuss Korean conflict

RIA Novosti

12:47 27/11/2010

MOSCOW, November 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi discussed on Saturday the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula and the necessity of not allowing it to escalate, according to a Russian ministry statement.

"It is of utmost necessity not to allow the further escalation of the situation and work toward the creation of conditions to ease the tension in relations between the two Koreas," the statement read.

A U.S. naval task force led by the George Washington nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will join South Korean warships in naval exercises on November 28-December 1.

The drills will be held in the wake of a recent military clash between North Korea and South Korea. The South claimed it returned fire after the North opened artillery fire on Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday, killing at least two South Korean marines and two civilians. Sixteen others were injured, along with three civilians.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense and South Korea has boosted its military presence on Yeonpyeong Island.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Friday said, citing the upcoming U.S.-South Korean naval drills in the Yellow Sea, that China strongly opposes any foreign states' military maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone.

China has always remained a close ally to North Korea.

The USS George Washington, which carries 75 combat aircraft and a crew of over 6,000, has left its naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, and will arrive in the Yellow Sea on Sunday to begin military maneuvers with South Korea, which many see as irritating the already tense situation between the North and South.

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