Russia and China have repeated their calls for restraint over North Korea amid fears that hawkish stances adopted by US President Donald Trump could spark a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
The pleas made by senior Russian and Chinese officials on Monday came two days after Trump hinted that the US might use force to stop North Korea from expanding its nuclear program, writing on his famous Twitter account that “only one thing will work” with North Korea.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said in response to Trump’s warning that such remarks could only complicate the situation.
“Moscow has called and continues to call on the parties involved in the conflict and on those who have anything to do with this issue to exercise restraint and to avoid any steps that would only worsen the situation,” Peskov told a conference call with reporters.
In similar comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said both the US and North Korea should avoid moves that could negatively affect the current situation, which she said was extremely complex and serious.
Chunying said during a news briefing in Beijing that China hoped all sides of the conflict would do nothing to irritate each other or worsen the problem and called on them to speak and act cautiously.
Tensions over North Korea escalated in July when Pyongyang successfully test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles, which the experts say can reach targets on the US mainland.
The situation was further complicated when North Korea tested its most powerful nuclear bomb last month. Pyongyang maintains that the test and other weapons activity are a response to increased provocations by the US on the Korean Peninsula, including its joint military exercises with South Korea.
Trump’s tweets again sparked concerns on Monday when he said that calls for negotiations between the US and North Korea was unhelpful.
“Our country has been unsuccessfully dealing with North Korea for 25 years, giving billions of dollars & getting nothing. Policy didn’t work!” Trump wrote in the post.