|USS George Washington aircraft carrier and it's task force will conduct exercises off SW coast of Korea.|
North Korea also responded angrily. "The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war," the state controlled Korean Central News Agency responded Friday to the maneuvers, which are set to take place in the Yellow Sea between the Koreas and northeastern China.
The strong talk was the latest fallout from North Korea's hour-long artillery attack of a South Korean island on Tuesday that killed four people. The next day, the U.S. and South Korea said planned joint exercises would go ahead over the weekend, heightening fears in some quarters that already-tense relations between North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—could be heading for a showdown.
Yet China's outwardly defiant response belies a more delicate political reality: Beijing's continued support of North Korea's erratic, martial regime is beginning to extract real costs. China's statement Friday included a face-saving formulation that appeared to open the door for a scenario China has long sought to avert—a U.S. aircraft carrier, a potent symbol of U.S. military might, plying the edge of Chinese waters.
The KWB notes: The rest of the article explains that China back in July of this year protested against a US Carrier (same one that WILL not take part, the USS George Washington with it’s task force) in ANY part of the Yellow Sea. Korean’s call it their West Sea. By clarifying that as long as the task force stayed away from the 200 Nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zone limits it would be okay. Off the SOUTHWEST COAST of Korea is outside of this limit, giving both China and the US/South Korea wiggle room that also tells North Korea that China is giving tacit approval for the exercises.
What this means is we can relax. NK will probably do ‘saber rattling’ (making a lot of noise) fire a few shells but nothing like last week. WSJ also points out that China’s Pres. Hu Jintao has a trip to Washington in January to meet with Pres. Obama. So a compromise that saves their face and does not prevent but rather sets guidelines are very reassuring.
But Don’t believe the KWB, read the entire article.