In response to the sudden bombardment of one of its islands by North Korea, President Lee Myung Bak has ordered strengthening of its military presence on the islands bordering North Korea.
Pyongyang on the other hand warned of retaliation if it sees any signs of ‘reckless military provocation’ by its neighbor. This warning comes very close to the heading of a US aircraft carrier for military exercises with South Korea.
The US aircraft carrier Yellow Sea will perform joint military manaoeuvres with South Korea, due to begin on Sunday. North Korea along with Beijing has shown ‘concern’ about timing of the drills.
The attack on the South Korean Yeonpyeong Island along with the news that North Korea was operating new uranium enrichment facility has heightened tensions in the Korean peninsula.
A military statement in a North Korean newspaper blamed live-fire exercises by South Korean troops as the cause for the bombardment of the South Korean island.
The US and South Korea are trying to rope in China, North Korea’s closest ally in an attempt to restore calm in the region. The Chinese premier,has called for all sides to exert ‘maximum restraint’, asserting that China is against any military provocation in the peninsula.
Although the US is deploying the carrierand other warships as a mark of solidarity with South Korea, the only option left is to involve China.