China is more than a little worried about the escalating situation in North Korea with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning that a conflict could break out “at any moment.”
“Lately, tensions have risen… and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment,” Wang said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault. “If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner.”
Wang stressed that the situation in the Korean peninsula must be prevented from going down “an irreversible route,” saying that “dialogue is the only possible solution” and warning that whichever side provokes a conflict “must assume the historic responsibility and pay the corresponding price.”
Saturday will mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of DPRK founder Kim Il-Sung and experts have speculated that the country might celebrate the occassion by conducting another nuclear test at virtually any time.
US President Donald Trump has said that the North Korea problem “will be taken care of.” Already, the US has sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group to the Korean peninsula and is conducting the largest-ever joint military exercises with South Korea. Last week, Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in a move that many believe was partly made to show Pyonyang that the US was not afraid to use military force.
In an interview with the Associated Press, North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol blamed Trump with escalating tensions in the region through both his military actions and tweets.
“Now we are comparing Trump’s policy toward the DPRK with the former administration’s and we have concluded that it’s becoming more vicious and more aggressive,” Han said. “We will go to war if they choose.”
In a phone call with Trump on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “peaceful resolution” to the North Korea crisis. Earlier this week, Trump had tweeted that he had told Xi in Mar-a-Lago that all China had to do to get a better trade deal with the US is “solve the North Korean problem.” Yesterday, the US president also revealed that Xi had given him a 10 minute Chinese-Korean history lesson which made him come to the profound realization that “it’s not so easy.”
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