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article imageDespite tensions, South Korea plans military exercises

By Michael Krebs     Dec 18, 2010 in World
Over objections from China and Russia and warnings from North Korea, South Korea has decided to go ahead with artillery exercises on the small island previously shelled by their northern neighbor.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula were heightened on Saturday, as the South Korean military suited up for a military drill on the same island their North Korean rivals had attacked in November.
North Korea has threatened to attack South Korea more forcefully should the South Korean military move ahead with the artillery tests. The drills are scheduled to be held on the small border island on Saturday. Four people were killed when the island was shelled by the North last month.
According to the Washington Post, Russia's Foreign Ministry has shared its "extreme concern" on the matter, and both Russia and China have asked Seoul to reconsider the need for military exercises.
"In regard to what could lead to worsening the situation or any escalation of acts of sabotage of regional peace and stability, China is firmly and unambiguously opposed," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in the Washington Post report.
North Korea's news agency issued a fiery statement on the issue, saying it "will deal the second and third unpredictable self-defensive blow" against the South, according to Al Jazeera.
The North additionally promised that its new attack would be "deadlier than what was made on November 23 in terms of the powerfulness and sphere of the strike."
But South Korea sees the challenge as a matter of national sovereignty.
"We have a right to conduct our own military drills," a South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff officer told the Washington Post.
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