A four-day joint military exercise between the US and South Korea barely a few hundred kilometers from the North Korean coastline is adding to ongoing tensions in the region.

Kim Jong-il's government has called the war games "serious provocation" and is threatening to retaliate.

North Korea's strategic ally China has also objected to the exercises saying they would exacerbate tensions in the Korean peninsula.

The US-South Korea military drills are the largest in recent years and the first of a series of military manoeuvres over the coming months.

They are intended as a show of force for North Korea which is blamed for sinking a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors. Pyongyang has rejected those accusations.


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The two nations fought a war from 1950 to 1953. It was halted by an armistice but since no peace agreement was signed, they are technically still at war.

On Wednesday's Riz Khan show we ask: Could the latest developments trigger another armed confrontation between the two Koreas and how is the latest crisis affecting ties between their two allies - the US and China?

Joining the show will be Sung-Yoon Lee, a South Korean professor who teaches international politics at Tufts University in the US, and Christine Hong, a  professor at the University of California whose work examines how the US military "peace" restructured the Asia Pacific region after the Second World War.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera