China urges Trump to tone down North Korea rhetoric

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping urged US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Satur­day to avoid rhetoric that could in­flame ten­sions with North Korea as an escalating war of words raised global alarm. Xi made the plea in a phone call hours af­ter Trump ramped up his warn­ings to Py­ongyang, say­ing the Stal­in­ist regime would ‘truly re­gret’ tak­ing hos­tile ac­tion against the US.

The White House said in a state­ment that the two lead­ers ‘agreed North Korea must stop provoca­tive and es­ca­la­tory be­hav­iour’ and that they are both com­mit­ted to the de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion of the penin­sula.

But the Chi­nese for­eign min­istry said Xi urged Trump to avoid ‘ words and deeds’ that would ‘ex­ac­er­bate’ the al­readytense sit­u­a­tion, ex­er­cise re­straint and seek a po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment.

Trump has been en­gaged all week in ver­bal spar­ring with the North over its weapons and mis­sile pro­grammes, as US me­dia re­ported Py­ongyang has suc­cess­fully minia­turised a nu­clear war­head.

Trump has pro­gres­sively ramped up the tone through­out the week and on Fri­day de­clared that the US mil­i­tary is ‘locked and loaded’. Ja­panese me­dia said Tokyo was de­ploy­ing its Pa­triot mis­sile de­fence sys­tem fol­low­ing Py­ongyang’s threat to fire bal­lis­tic mis­siles over the country to­wards Guam.

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