To restart talks, Russia and China have both urged a so-called freeze-for-freeze—a halt to US-South Korean war games in return for a North Korean freeze on missile and nuclear testing. Washington has repeatedly rejected the proposal. Far from easing tensions, South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo this week said the joint drills would be conducted “two to three times a month.”
The Trump administration has deliberately created a powder keg on the Korean Peninsula in which a relatively minor incident or miscalculation could trigger a conflict that spirals out of control and drags in other powers. China and Russia are both deeply concerned that the US will provoke a devastating war on their doorstep.
Amid the joint US exercises in South Korea, the Chinese navy and air force has been conducting its own military drills. On Monday air force spokesman Shen Jinke announced that Chinese aircraft recently conducted exercises drills over the Yellow and East China seas near the Korean Peninsula using “routes and areas it has never flown before.”