|This handout photo released by the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff on Monday shows Republic of Korea and US warships during a joint naval exercise in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) off the southeastern ROK port of Pohang. [SOUTH KOREA JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF VIA AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE]|
Key Words:S.Korea;DPRK;Pyongyang;Korean Peninsula;six-talk
>> S. Korea, U.S. stage joint naval drill amid tension
Political mediation efforts by members of the Six-Party Talks coincided with the ongoing military drill between Seoul and Washington on Monday, as the possibility of another nuclear test by Pyongyang hung above the Korean Peninsula.
Wu Dawei, special representative of the Chinese government on the Korean Peninsula affairs exchanged views with his counterpart from the Republic of Korea, Lim Sung-nam, on the latest situation on the peninsula, Yonhap News Agency cited an official as saying.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged all parties to avoid increasing tensions on Monday in the current sensitive situation and called for restraint.
Maintaining peace and stability is in the interests of all parties, she said.
China has made great efforts to persuade the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to halt its nuclear program, but China's efforts alone may not be as effective as the ROK and its ally the United States expect, observers said.
Beijing will not simply take part in Seoul's alliance, although the ROK has pursued that goal, said Huang Youfu, a professor of the Korean Peninsula at the Minzu University of China.
"If Pyongyang has made up its mind to conduct the test, China's persuasion will not work," he said, adding that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is not triggered only by Pyongyang and China alone cannot solve the issue.
Wang Junsheng, a researcher on East Asian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that what Pyongyang is pursuing is for Washington to treat it as an equal counterpart and respect its security concerns.
Meanwhile, the ROK and the US began a three-day joint naval exercise involving a US nuclear submarine on Monday, which was interpreted by analysts as a further provocation against the DPRK.
Yonhap on Friday cited Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Jung Seung-jo as saying that the joint drill aims to guard against possible DPRK provocations involving submarines.
"The exercise includes at-sea operational training, detecting and tracking a submarine, anti-air and anti-ship live-fire training and anti-missile training," Yonhap quoted a military official as saying.
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