'US-S. Korea military drills "not directed" at Beijing'

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Washington, Nov 27 (ANI): The United States has assured China that its joint military exercises with South Korea are "not directed" at Beijing.

The four-day exercises starting on Sunday come in the wake of North Korea's attack on a South Korean island, and would include a US aircraft carrier with an intention to 'deter' the North.

The Telegraph quoted Pentagon spokesman Darryn James as saying that the Chinese government was informed of "our intent to conduct this naval exercise" in the areas west of the Korean Peninsula.

"It is important to point out that this exercise is not directed at China. As with previous exercises in this series, these operations are defensive in nature and designed to strengthen deterrence against North Korea," he added.

On Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman had said that Beijing was "concerned" over the action, saying China opposes "any act that undermines peace and stability on the (Korean) peninsula", the paper said.

Tensions in the region were fuelled after North Korea shelled a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing at least four people, and prompting retaliatory fire from the South. (ANI)

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