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DPRK army condemns exercise

[ 2011-11-25 10:57]     字号 [] [] []  
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The armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday condemned a military exercise by the Republic of Korea near their sea border as a new provocation, threatening a "sea of fire" in Seoul if any future drill violates its territory.

Beijing on the same day asked the parties involved to ease the tension, while Chinese experts said the risk of an outbreak in hostilities was still not high at the moment.

The ROK's military conducted a large-scale military exercise on five islands and their surrounding waters in the West Sea on Wednesday, the first anniversary of an artillery bombardment of the ROK's Yeonpyeong Island by the DPRK.

According to a report issued by the Supreme Command of the DPRK army through the official KCNA news agency, Seoul's rehearsal showed it had not learned the "due lesson on the first anniversary of the shelling".

The DPRK shelled Yeonpyeong near the maritime border on Nov 23 last year, killing two ROK marines and two civilians. It said it was retaliating for an artillery drill by the ROK on the island that dropped shells into the DPRK's maritime zone.

"If it dares slander our dignity again and if our sea, airspace or land is breached by a single bullet or bombshell, the sea of fire on Yeonpyeong would spread to a sea of fire engulfing the (ROK presidential) Blue House," it said.

Moreover, the report claimed last year's fatal shelling was "a legitimate self-defensive step against the provocateurs".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Thursday at a regular news briefing that Beijing hopes the related parties will "keep in contact and dialogue and do more to help ease the situation".

In Seoul, ROK President Lee Myung-bak said on Wednesday he believes the DPRK will one day reveal its position on the shelling on the island.

The DPRK "has not formally apologized for the incident, but I expect it to formally state its position on the matter sometime for national reconciliation", Lee said during a visit to a new military unit near the tense sea border with the DPRK.

Seoul has repeatedly demanded Pyongyang apologize for the shelling, the first peacetime attack on ROK land since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

DPRK army condemns exercise

About the broadcaster:

DPRK army condemns exercise

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.