Call­ing for calm

China calls for de-es­ca­la­tion of tense sit­u­a­tion

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

A card­board cutout of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is shown dur­ing a protest out­side the White House against es­ca­lat­ing threats of mil­i­tary ac­tion in North Korea on Thurs­day in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Re­cent re­ports of ad­vances in North Korean nu­clear tech­nol­ogy and es­ca­lat­ing ver­bal threats be­tween North Korea and the US have dom­i­nated the news for the past few days

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Fri­day once again upped the ante in his war of words with North Korea, warn­ing Py­ongyang that the US mil­i­tary is “locked and loaded” in the event of a mis­step by Py­ongyang, de­spite mount­ing in­ter­na­tional calls for re­straint.

Ig­nor­ing ap­peals from China for re­straint, Trump launched an­other rhetor­i­cal salvo at Py­ongyang to keep its nu­clear weapons and bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­grams in check.

The lat­est Twit­ter threat from the Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire leader came as con­cerns swelled world­wide that a mis­cal­cu­la­tion by ei­ther side could trig­ger a cat­a­strophic con­flict on the Korean Penin­sula.

“Mil­i­tary so­lu­tions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act un­wisely. Hope­fully Kim Jong-un will find an­other path!” Trump wrote from his golf club re­treat in New Jer­sey, where he is spend­ing two weeks.

Ear­lier on Fri­day, China had urged both the US and North Korea to tone down the saber-rat­tling.

Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Geng Shuang called on both sides to avoid “re­lapse into the old path of show­ing as­sertive­ness and es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions.”

“The Chi­nese side hopes all rel­e­vant par­ties to speak and act with cau­tion and do more things that are con­ducive to de-es­ca­lat­ing the tense sit­u­a­tion and en­hanc­ing mu­tual trust among par­ties,” Geng said in a state­ment.

China has re­peat­edly called for a re­sump­tion of long-dor­mant Six-Party Talks to peace­fully re­solve the mount­ing ten­sions.

China’s has pro­posed North Korea to sus­pend its weapons pro­grams in ex­change for a sus­pen­sion of mil­i­tary drills by the US and South Korea – seen by Py­ongyang as provoca­tive.

In Moscow, Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov said on Fri­day that risks of a mil­i­tary con­flict over North Korea’s nu­clear pro­gram are very high and Moscow is deeply wor­ried by the threats from Wash­ing­ton and Py­ongyang.

Lavrov en­cour­aged Py­ongyang and Wash­ing­ton to sign up to a joint Chi­nese-Rus­sian plan, un­der which North Korea would freeze its mis­sile tests and the US and South Korea would im­pose a mora­to­rium on large-scale mil­i­tary ex­er­cises.

Trump has pro­gres­sively ramped up the tone through­out the week – af­ter bran­dish­ing a threat of un­leash­ing “fire and fury” on North Korea, he said Thurs­day maybe that state­ment “wasn’t tough enough.”

He also warned Py­ongyang it should be “very, very ner­vous” of the con­se­quences if it even thinks of at­tack­ing US soil, af­ter North Korea said it was ready­ing plans to launch mis­siles to­wards the US Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam.

Photo: CFP

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