Chinese leader Xi Jinping has urged US President Trump to seek a peaceful resolution with North Korea after both sides traded fresh provocations. Trump has threatened unilateral action over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping reportedly told US President Donald Trump during a telephone conversation Wednesday that China was committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but he urged the US to pursue a peaceful resolution with Pyongyang.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Xi told Trump China "is committed to the target of denuclearization on the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means."
Xi's remarks come after Trump warned on Twitter that if China refused to rein in North Korea, "we will solve the problem without them."
Trump has adopted a significantly hawkish tone in his North Korea policy, having pledged to take unilateral action if necessary and deploying the US Vinson aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula.
Trump's decision to launch a missile strike on Syria last week during his Florida meeting with Xi was also interpreted by many as a warning to Pyongyang, as well as a retaliatory response to an alleged chemical attack on a Syrian rebel-held town.
Earlier on Wednesday, Japan also said that it was preparing a series of group exercises with the Venison carrier group.
More impending nuclear tests?
The US' show of strength has prompted the North declare that it was "ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US."
US intelligence officials fear that the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, could be preparing a nuclear weapons test in the coming days, possibly to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of his grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il Sung.
Such an incident would mark the sixth such nuclear test. The first took place in 2006, while the two most recent ones both occurred last year. Such an accelerated nuclear program, coupled with a series of ballistic missile tests, has the US spooked about the possibility that North Korea could soon have the capacity to fire a nuclear warhead to the US mainland.
dm/rt (Reuters, AFP)