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    The South Korean navy's 14,000 ton-class large-deck landing ship Dokdo sails through the Yellow Sea of South Korea during military drills, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010.

    Putin: US, S Korea's Military Drills Near Korean Peninsula Not 'Easing Tensions'

    © AP Photo / Lee Jin-man, Pool
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the China Media Group that Pyongyang was taking practical steps toward denuclearization, which is the common primary aim.

    "It [North Korea] has announced termination of its nuclear and missile tests, first of all. Moreover, one of its major nuclear test sites was dismantled. These are, certainly, practical steps toward denuclearization, which is our common aim," Putin said in an interview.

    The president noted that Pyongyang's demands for security were logical. The next step in settlement of the North Korean problem will be development of security guarantees by all the involved states, Putin added.

    However, Moscow regrets that United States and South Korea did not halt their military drills which did not contribute to easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "We regret that our western partners, the United States and, unfortunately, South Korea, continue their military drills and maneuvers, which do not contribute to easing tensions," Putin said in an interview with the China Media Group.

    In May, South Korean Defense Ministry's spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said that Seoul had ruled out the possibility of halting or scaling down the annual joint military drills with the United States.

    The next US-South Korean joint military exercises, the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, are reportedly set to be held in August.

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    Tags:
    guarantees, denuclearization, diplomacy, tension, military drills, Vladimir Putin, Korean Peninsula
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