Korean crisis: Mind your words, action, China’s Xi tells Donald Trump
Xi asked the US President to avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the already tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.world Updated: Aug 12, 2017 18:46 IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged his US counterpart Donald Trump to avoid words and action that could heighten tensions in the Korean peninsula, official media reported on Saturday citing a phone conversation between the two leaders.
The conversation took place against the backdrop of increasingly hostile rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang. On Friday, Trump issued a new threat to North Korea, saying the US military solutions were “locked and loaded”.
“Chinese President Xi Jinping urged concerned parties to practice restraint regarding the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in a phone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump on Saturday,” China’s official media reported.
“The concerned parties should avoid remarks and actions that could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Xi said, adding China is ready to work with the United States to appropriately resolve the issue,” the official Xinhua news agency said in a report.
Xi also “stressed that China and the United States have common interests in achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there”.
The state media quoted Trump as saying the US “fully understands China’s efforts in resolving the nuclear issue, and is willing to continue to keep close contacts with Beijing on major international and regional issues of common concern”.
“President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour,” the White House said in a statement.
On Friday, Trump tweeted: “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”
Asked about his comments by reporters, Trump referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and said: “If he utters one threat...or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast.”
Earlier this week, Trump said North Korea would be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it made any more threats to the US. He added that the North Korean leader “has been very threatening beyond a normal state”.
North Korea has announced plans to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam by mid-August and said it is waiting for an order by Kim Jong-un. It has accused Washington of a “criminal attempt to impose nuclear disaster upon the Korean nation”.
The exchange of warnings followed recent missile tests by North Korea.
China, North Korea’s closest ally and benefactor, has repeatedly urged restraint. On Friday, it had called on the US and North Korea “to refrain from the old path of flaunting power”.
“The current situation on the peninsula is complicated and sensitive,” foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a statement.
“China hopes that all related parties could watch their words and actions, contribute more to easing the tensions and building mutual trust, and refrain from an old path of flaunting powers and raising tensions,” Geng said.