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    South Korean Army K1A1 and U.S. Army M1A2 tanks fire live rounds during a U.S.-South Korea joint live-fire military exercise, at a training field, near the demilitarized zone, separating the two Koreas in Pocheon, South Korea April 21, 2017

    China Proposes Simultaneous Halt to N Korea Nuclear Program, US-S Korea Drills

    © REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji
    Asia & Pacific
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    Beijing has suggested a way of de-escalating tensions in the Korean peninsula.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China is proposing a simultaneous halt to North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and joint US-South Korea military exercises, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission deputy chief said Thursday.

    "China proposed the simultaneous suspension of North Korea's activities to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, and the suspension of large-scale military exercises," Maj. Gen. Shao Yuanming said at the VI Moscow Conference on International Security.

    On April 23, Japan and the United States started naval military exercises in the Pacific Ocean with participation of a US naval group led by the USS Carl Vinson, according to Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. The group was sent by the United States to the Korean Peninsula amid growing tensions in the region.

    North Korean state Rodong Sinmun newspaper reportedly said that Pyongyang was ready to show its military power in response to the US move to send its naval group, while the country's revolutionary forces could sink the USS Carl Vinson with a single strike.

    The situation on the Korean peninsula aggravated since North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests, with one of the latest constituting a launch of a ballistic missile from Sinpo, South Hamgyong province, in the direction of the Sea of Japan on April 5 and a missile test on April 16, claimed unsuccessful by the South Korean defense officials. The launches are considered to be in violation with the UN Security Council resolution.

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    military drills, PLA, Shao Yuanming, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, United States, South Korea
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