- Japan, U.S. start largest ever military drills amid Korean tensions
- Japan, S. Korea to strengthen ties following North's attack
- China: Korean six-party talks to help avoid new conflict
- Japan plans more Patriot systems to shoot down N. Korean missiles
- Balance of forces on Korean peninsula
- South Korea holds military drills on an unprecedented scale
- U.S. and South Korea hold joint military exercises in Yellow Sea
- South Korean island and its residents a day after artillery attack
- North Korea attacks a South Korean island
- North Korea threatens a "sacred" nuclear war
- War on Korean peninsula would have no victor
- UN ready to contribute to peace and stability on Korean peninsula
Japan wants to establish an alliance with South Korea to ensure security in East Asia against a backdrop of possible provocations from North Korea, the Japanese foreign minister, Seiji Maehara, said.
Maehara told South Korean media that the reclusive communist state's armed provocations present a "threat to stability and peace" in the entire region.
"We hope to conclude an alliance with South Korea to ensure security," he said.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense after Pyongyang shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in November, killing four people.
In December, Seoul held large-scale military drills involving hundreds of military personnel and more than 100 types of weapons, including tanks, anti-tank missiles, helicopters and fighter jets. North Korea then warned its opponent of a possible "holy war" using its nuclear deterrent.
TOKYO, January 3 (RIA Novosti)
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.