Chinese Navy Begins Live-Fire Drills Off Korean Peninsula

Earlier this week, Seoul asked the US to delay joint military exercises with Japan until after the Winter Olympics, ostensibly to avoid provoking North Korea ahead of the 2018 Winter Games. The timing of the request is suspicious - having coincided with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s announcement that the US has offered to begin talks with the North “without preconditions." While State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert walked back Tillerson’s statement the next day, insisting the North cease its weapons tests before talks can proceed, it is possible such a delay - if undertaken - could be construed as an opening gambit.

US drills in the region have stopped, though it’s unclear whether the US will abide by South Korea’s request. However, the brief lull in the area was interrupted Thursday when local media reported that China has decided to hold military drills of its own.

According to the South China Morning Post, China is now conducting a live-fire exercise off the North Korean peninsula, and is expected to last for four days. In addition to citing security concerns, Beijing also criticized the US for pushing the region toward nuclear war.

The drill in the Bohai Sea started on Thursday afternoon and will last until 4 pm local time next Monday, according to a notice issued by the Liaoning Maritime Safety Administration.

 

Beijing cordoned off an area of some 276 square kilometers near Lushun in Liaoning province, an important naval base for the People’s Liberation Army’s North Sea Fleet, which is responsible for defending the Bohai and Yellow Seas off the Korean peninsula.

The scale of the drills as well as the exact number of ships participating remained unclear. China’s drills capped off two weeks of heavy military activity in the area. Last week, more than 40 warships from the Chinese Navy took part in a major exercise in the East China Sea, just days after the country’s Air Force had carried out similar high-level drills. Then the US and its allies held their drills earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang said Thursday that a Trump administration plan to impose a naval blockade on North Korea, if implemented, would be “extremely dangerous” and “big step” toward nuclear war.

Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly advocated a “double freeze”solution to the current verbal standoff between the US and North Korea. As part of the Russia-China plan, the North would halt missile and nuclear programs in exchange for Washington dialing down its military drills in the region. Earlier this month, Moscow said it was ready to help facilitate talks between Washington and Pyongyang, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stating that “North Korea wants to talk to the US about its own security assurances."

The PLA Navy’s guided-missile destroyers have carried out a series of live-fire drills in the Yellow Sea while the Air Force has stepped up its patrol and surveillance over the region.

Separately, on Monday, China and Russia started a simulated anti-missile exercise in Beijing. China’s defense ministry on Monday said the drills helped foster cooperation against threats from ballistic and cruise missiles in the region - ironically, the US and South Korea use similar excuses to justify their drills.

Comments

rejected Carl Panzram Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:11 Permalink

NK is no threat to China,,, only the US (that's you) and the puppies that tag along like a pack of wild wolves.It's okay with Americano''s bombing and destroying countries for grins and giggles,,, but they don't seem to like it if someone might be capable of defending itself, and maybe even worse do the slugs called citizens in America harm.Otherwise, NK would already look like the rest of the world in ruins,,, half it's population dead,,,  the rest dying, after the exceptional and indispensable USA brought them demockracy. Check Libya,,, great example of those brave American flyboys and girls bringing demockracy at 40,000 feet.Maybe Kim can take out a few thugs in the US government, return our constitution and teach the lemmings some common courtesy.

In reply to by Carl Panzram

silverer Rex Andrus Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:43 Permalink

Kim right now is sitting at his portable hardwood desk, chuckling at it all. He understands how much money all this costs the west, which is already technically bankrupt. If Kim loses the battle with the US, which is a certainty if war actually does break out, Kim will have won in the long run. I just don't see how the US comes out with tulips and singing when the whole thing closes down. Just another dark mark on a badly handled situation which goes back to Obama, who didn't bother handling it at all.

In reply to by Rex Andrus

silverer Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:39 Permalink

I would simply remind China that the US was once an ally, now the US elites and neocons would like to see China "eliminated". So be careful with any US promises. (Remember NATO, not one inch east lie?) That's also how the US will win the Olympics. Simply get rid of any viable competition by banning them for mostly bullshit reasons, and the US can proudly go home with the medals, singing the Barney song.

Son of Captain Nemo Philo Beddoe Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:24 Permalink

I certainly remember this Russian that couldn't go because his government boycotted as payback for 1980

The Russians re-wrote the book on biomechanics for this event that added 40 feet to the longest throws before it! The closest American in 1984 could only thow it 235 feet...

2 year after (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qAE2PrCVhY)

The only ones that get fucked over are the athletes when it's made into a political "football".

In reply to by Philo Beddoe

researchfix Philo Beddoe Fri, 12/15/2017 - 13:40 Permalink

"The winter games are racist. All the white people are not sharing the ice."Just make some "Cool Runnings"You´ll be heroes, with some gold that counts.Joke aside, for years I see that there will be some changes ahead with world sports. There will be Olympics for West only, and there will be competitions - still to be named - for the rest of the world.Only organization who can read the writing on the wall is FIFA.

In reply to by Philo Beddoe

rejected silverer Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

Actually the US was an ally with Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist. President Truman deserted them after firing MacArthur for talking to them. MacArthur and Chiang were on good terms.After that the US continued to leave Taiwan out on a limb by removing them from the UN. ( The one China act) Then by giving China our production and technology it is now strong enough to take Taiwan whenever it wants.  Yes, the US has a treaty to protect Taiwan but I seriously doubt the slugs in America today would want to die fighting well armed Chinese. They (US Army) lost their ass last time in NK. Since the US couldn't win they destroyed NK by air killing 3-4 million people. No buildings remained standing. They did the same in Vietnam and the Middle East.Think about that next time the US government acts concerned for a civilian population.

In reply to by silverer

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:47 Permalink

PRC TRANSLATION:

SLANT EYE TELLING ROUND EYE... YOU AIN'T GETTIN NO INTEREST FREE $10 TRILLION LOAN FROM EITHER US OR THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION... AND THAT GOLD BACKED PETROYUAN IS "HAPPENIN"... LIKE IT... OR NOT...!!!

shizzledizzle Fri, 12/15/2017 - 09:51 Permalink

Will Rogers on the gulf of Tonkin inciedent..."Gunboat diplomacy, normally we have multiple ships in every ocean of the world but this time it appears we only had one destroyer that had to manuver around for weeks before being able to get in the line of fire." (That's from my memmory that's not so good, so it's not verbatim)

Dark star Fri, 12/15/2017 - 10:14 Permalink

America will need a long and very busy supply line if it attacks Korea.China's message to the USA is that that supply line will be interdicted if the US attacks, leaving the invasion force with no food or bullets.As for the US trying to starve Korea into submssion with a naval blockade; the US ships will be attacked (and we won't know by whom) and both Russia and China will break the blockade by land.North Korea would have every right to consider a siege as an act of war. (Goodbye Guam, hello International hatred for the USA).