China Says Korea Clash Would be “National Tragedy”

As South Korea held live-fire exercises on Yeonpyeong Island, which was shelled by North Korea last month, China simultaneously expressed concern over the situation on the Korean peninsula and thwarted a U.N. resolution on the issue. From Reuters:

The Security Council met on Sunday to try to calm Korean tensions, but the meeting ended without agreement. China and Russia resisted moves to publicly blame North Korea over the standoff that has deepened since last month when the North shelled a South Korean island.

China’s Xinhua news agency reported on Monday Beijing time that Wang Min, the country’s representative at the Security Council meeting, warned that “the situation on the Korean peninsula is perilous” and defended Beijing’s approach to the crisis.

“If a bloody clash breaks out on the Korean peninsula, that would first of all hurt the people on both sides of the peninsula and bring a national tragedy of mutual fratricide between the compatriots in the North and South,” Wang told the Security Council, according to Xinhua.

The New York Times also reports on the UNSC meeting:

China declines to join a majority of the Security Council members in condemning the North Korean attack, according to a diplomat present at the meeting who spoke with reporters on condition of anonymity. The Chinese mission to the UN didn’t respond to a telephone message requesting comment.

Russia called an emergency session of the UN council today saying it feared “further escalation of tensions” on the Korean peninsula after South Korea said it would hold live-fire artillery drills on an island near North Korea’s coast.

Watch an AP report:

Meanwhile, AP reports that South Korea is flying fighter jets during the military drill to prevent retaliation from the North:

South Korea says it has launched fighter jets to deter any North Korean attacks after the South began artillery drills on a front-line island.

A Defense Ministry official said Monday that South Korean fighters are flying a mission against possible North Korean aggression.

The official says the fighters are flying over South Korea during the drills.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules.

December 19, 2010 11:19 PM
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