(Reuters) China said on Wednesday that the North Korean nuclear issue should be resolved through dialogue.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said that military means were not an option, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that any U.S. military option would be “devastating”.
He stated this at a daily news conference on Wednesday in Beijing.
Bellicose statements by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks have created fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications, particularly since Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3.
Kang reiterated that China has all along upheld the aim of the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and protecting the international nuclear non-proliferation system.
“At the same we are resolute in working for the protection of the peninsula’s peace and stability and uphold a peaceful resolution for the nuclear issue via dialogue and consultation,” Kang said.
“We have always believed that military means should not be an option to resolve the nuclear issue on the peninsula.
“Because arms cannot resolve the differences and can only cause a bigger disaster. No side can accept this,” he added.
“We hope all sides can avoid words and actions that intensify the problem and may cause the situation to continue to escalate.”
North Korea will be high on the agenda when U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, visits China later this week.
While China has been angered by North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and has signed up for increasingly tough UN sanctions against Pyongyang, it has also said efforts must be stepped up to resume talks.
During a White House news conference on Tuesday, Trump also said the use of force was not Washington’s preferred option for dealing with the North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons programme.
In spite the increased tension, the U.S. has not detected any change in North Korea’s military posture reflecting an increased threat, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday.
North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Ho on Monday accused Trump of declaring war on the North and threatened that Pyongyang would shoot down U.S. warplanes flying near the Korean Peninsula after American bombers flew close to it last Saturday.
Ho was reacting to Trump’s Twitter comments that Kim and Ho “won’t be around much longer” if they acted on their threats toward the U.S.