News ID: 198451
Published: 0626 GMT August 12, 2017

Chinese president speaks with Trump, urges calm

Chinese president speaks with Trump, urges calm
Chinese President Xi Jinping (zeenews.india.com)

President Xi Jinping, in a call with President Donald Trump, said all sides should avoid rhetoric or action that would worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese state media said.

China Central Television on Saturday cited Xi as saying that Beijing and Washington are both interested in the denuclearization of the peninsula, miamiherald.com wrote.

The report quotes Xi as saying: "At present, the relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula."

Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States.

China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will do everything he can to protect the Japanese people as tensions escalate over North Korean plans to send missiles flying over Japan toward Guam.

 

Abe said: "I will do everything, to the best of my ability, to protect the safety and property of the Japanese people."

On Friday, the Defense Ministry said it was deploying four of Japan's surface-to-air Patriot interceptors in western Japan to respond to a possible risk of fragments falling from missiles.

The ministry did not confirm whether Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has already issued an order to shoot down incoming missiles.

President Donald Trump has issued fresh threats of swift and forceful retaliation against nuclear North Korea, declaring the US military "locked and loaded" and warning that the communist country's leader "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against US territories or allies.

The president appeared to draw another red line that would trigger a US attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for its leader, Kim Jong Un. Trump's comments, however, do not appear to be backed by significant military mobilization on either side of the Pacific, and an important, quiet diplomatic channel remains open.

Asked Friday if the US was going to war, he said cryptically, "I think you know the answer to that."

President Donald Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not speak for the US on North Korea.

Merkel has said of Trump's provocative warnings to the communist nation that "escalating the rhetoric is the wrong answer."

Trump on Friday replied: "Let her speak for Germany," adding, "She's certainly not referring to the United States."

The US president's warnings that Pyongyang will "regret" any threats or action against the US are a break with the diplomatic language of his predecessors.

But Trump said Friday that millions of Americans support their president "sticking up" for the US and its allies.

President Donald Trump said his critics are only complaining about his tough rhetoric on North Korea "because it's me."

He said days of grave threats to the communist country's leader, Kim Jong Un, would be welcomed as "a great statement" if "somebody else" uttered them.

   
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