Beijing, April 15: China has warned US to refrain from using military force against North Korea, saying it would be riskier than attacking Syria. US had recently diverted its aircraft carrier group to the Korean Peninsula. In response, China said military force would not solve the issue and that an opportunity to return to talks can still be found. This comes a week after US launched a missile attack on Syria.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was necessary to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from going down "an irreversible route. One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment. I think that all relevant parties should be highly vigilant with regards to this situation, Wang said.
"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", He added. The US has sent an aircraft carrier to waters off the peninsula and is conducting its biggest-ever joint military exercises with South Korea.
Trump has repeatedly criticised Pyongyang for developing nuclear weapons and accused Beijing of not doing enough to stop its wayward ally. Trump’s rhetoric towards China has eased since he hosted President Xi Jinping in Florida last week but his decision to order an air strike against Syria during the summit was widely seen as a warning to North Korea that the US was ready to take unilateral military action.
Earlier, North Korea's vice foreign minister blamed President Donald Trump for escalating tensions through his tweets and expansion of military exercises, saying the US was becoming more vicious and more aggressive under his leadership than it had been under President Barack Obama.
"We will go to war if they choose. Now we are comparing Trump's policy toward the DPRK with the former administration's and we have concluded that it's becoming more vicious and more aggressive, Han Song Ryol told the Associated Press, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"Whatever comes from US politicians, if their words are designed to overthrow the DPRK system and government, we will categorically reject them," he said.
Speaking through an interpreter provided by the foreign ministry, Han was calm and polite but forceful throughout the 40-minute interview. Pyongyang, meanwhile, recently launched a ballistic missile and some experts say it could conduct another nuclear test at virtually any time.