Don diplo dancing
Seeks unity on NK
The North Korea crisis simmered Saturday as President Trump traded his public bombast for private talks with the leaders of France and China.
Trump spoke by phone with President Emmanuel Macron of France Saturday and President Xi Jinping of China late Friday, the White House said.
Xi during the conversation pleaded for calm, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, telling Trump that both sides “must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
China, North Korea’s largest ally and main trading partner, has voiced increasing concern over Kim Jong-un’s threats to lob nuclear missiles toward the US territory of Guam, and equal worry about Trump’s tough-talk responses.
A Chinese state-run newspaper suggested on Friday that Beijing would not support Pyongyang if it struck the US first, and last week China joined a unanimous Security Council vote for new sanctions.
The White House said Trump and Xi confirmed a common goal of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula during their phone call and agreed that the North must stop its “provocative and escalatory behavior.”
Meanwhile, France on Saturday condemned North Korea for its “dangerous escalation.”
Macron “calls for all parties to act responsibly and prevent any further escalation in tensions,” the Elysée Palace said in a statement.
Trump again spoke of possible “military measures” if other steps fail.
“President Trump stated that the United States is ready, along with its allies, to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic and military measures” to “stop the North Korean nuclear menace,” the White House said after the two leaders spoke.
Japanese media said Tokyo was deploying its Patriot missile-defense system in response to Pyongyang’s threat to fire ballistic missiles over the country toward Guam, an island of 165,000 people that houses US military bases.