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China warning North Korea against escalating tensions to an ‘irreversible’ stage

China warns North Korea tension has to be stopped from reaching ‘irreversible’ stage, SMH, 14 Apr 17,  Beijing/Pyongyang: China said on Friday tension over North Korea had to be stopped from reaching an “irreversible and unmanageable stage, SMH, ” as a US aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region amid fears the North may conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test on Saturday.Concern has grown since the US Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack, raising questions about US President Donald Trump’s plans for North Korea, which has conducted missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN and unilateral sanctions.

The United States has warned that a policy of “strategic patience” is over. US Vice President Mike Pence travels to South Korea on Sunday on a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia.

China, North Korea’s sole major ally and neighbour which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

“We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing.

“Once a war really happens, the result will be nothing but losing all round and no one could become a winner,” Mr Wang told reporters in Beijing on Friday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

North Korea denounced the United States for bringing “huge nuclear strategic assets” to the region as the Carl Vinson strike group with a flag-ship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer, and said it stood ready to strike back.

“The Trump administration, which made a surprise guided cruise-missile strike on Syria on April 6, has entered the path of open threat and blackmail,” the North’s KCNA news agency quoted the military as saying in a statement………

North Korea, still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, has on occasion conducted missile or nuclear tests to coincide with big political events and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.

On Saturday, it marks the “Day of the Sun”, the 105th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung.

US ally South Korea warned against any North Korean “provocation”, such as a nuclear or missile test.

“There is certain to be powerful punitive measure that will be difficult for the North Korean regime to endure,” the South’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement………

Worry about North Korean aggression has also led to a deterioration of ties between China and South Korea because China objects to the deployment of a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in the South.

“It’s not hard to see that ever since the United States and Republic of Korea decided to deploy THAAD, the situation has not become harmonious but has become more tense,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, said in response to a question about the system………http://www.smh.com.au/world/china-warns-north-korea-tension-has-to-be-stopped-from-reaching-irreversible-stage-20170414-gvleo7.html

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April 15, 2017 - Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international

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