Russia and China say they
are concerned about rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, with North Korea
issuing new warnings about annual military exercises by U.S. and South Korean
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Chinese
counterpart, Yang Jiechi, discussed the situation by telephone on
Russia's Foreign Ministry says the two foreign ministers are
urging the US and South Korea to avoid actions that could undermine security and
stability in the region. It also says Lavrov and Yang want the dispute to be
resolved peacefully through political and diplomatic means.
Wednesday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang will take every
necessary measure to defend itself against what it called threats to its
The ministry repeated its claim that the U.S.-South Korean
military drills are preparation for an invasion.
The exercises come at a
time of rising tensions between the two Koreas, and growing pressure on North
Korea to end its nuclear weapons program and drop plans to test a long-range
On Tuesday, top U.S. intelligence official Dennis Blair said he
believes North Korea will go ahead with its planned space launch. Mr. Blair, the
Director of National Intelligence, said the technology for the launch is the
same as that used to launch a ballistic missile.
North Korea has warned
it will retaliate against anyone seeking to intercept what it calls a planned
The joint U.S.-South Korean maneuvers involve a U.S.
aircraft carrier, 26,000 U.S. troops and more than 30,000 South Korean soldiers.
The maneuvers are scheduled to end on March 20.
Some information for this report was provided by