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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

China wants US, DPRK seek way out for peaceful settlement amid war rhetoric

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 16:05, September 26, 2017

China on Monday reiterated its hope to see a peaceful settlement on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula amid an escalating war of words between Pyongyang and Washington.

China said all relevant parties should exercise restraint instead of provoking each other, and seek a way out for the peaceful settlement of the issue instead of letting off steam. "Only when all relevant parties shoulder their due responsibility, speak and act cautiously and work for the shared goal can we find a viable solution to the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue," Lu Kang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a daily briefing on Monday.

The spokesperson's remark came after DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters in New York City that US President Donald Trump has declared a war on Pyongyang.

"Last weekend, Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn't be around much longer. He declared a war on our country," Ri said, referring to Trump's tweet on Saturday. "The whole world should clearly remember it was the US who first declared war on our country."

Ri added that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down US bombers even if they are not flying in its airspace. "Since the United States declared war on our country, we will have every right to take countermeasures, including the right to shoot down US strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country," Ri said.

On Saturday, US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers and F-15C Eagle fighter escorts flew in international airspace over waters east of the DPRK. "This is the farthest north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) any US fighter or bomber aircraft have flown" off the DPRK's coast in the 21st century, said the Pentagon, adding that the move underscored "the seriousness with which we take DPRK's reckless behavior."

In response to the DPRK foreign minister's remarks, the White House on Monday denied that the US had declared war with the country.

"We have not declared war on North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd," White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said during press briefing in Washington. "Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," she added.

However, the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington has been heating up. In his first speech at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 19, US President Trump said that his country "will have no choice but to totally destroy" the DPRK unless Pyongyang refrains from its nuclear tests and missile launches.

In response, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un vowed to retaliate, saying Trump "will face results beyond his expectation."

China maintains that the pressing task now is that all relevant parties should implement all the DPRK-related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, including the just adopted Resolution 2371 and 2375, in a faithful, complete and accurate manner, according to the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.

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