China calls on US, North Korea to tone down rhetoric


China has urged the United States and North Korea to exercise restraint, reminding the sides that war would not resolve the long-standing issues between them.
The US military has been conducting joint exercises with South Korea since Monday, drilling mock attacks on North Korea in different war scenarios.
North Korea said on Wednesday that those drills made war with the US inevitable. An unnamed spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Washington’s threats against the North have made the outbreak of war in the Korean Peninsula an “established fact.”
“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” the source said.
War with US not a question of if but of when: North Korea North Korea says it does not seek war with the United States but will not hide from a potential conflict either.
Amid the heated rhetoric, China, which is North Korea’s main ally, called for restraint. “We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing on Thursday.
“The outbreak of war is not in any side’s interest. The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people.”
The US has been at odds with North Korea over its rapidly-advancing weapons program. Pyongyang, in turn, says it is developing its missiles and nuclear program to guard against potential hostility against the US, which has substantial military presence in the region.—Agencies

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