Pedestrians walk in front of a large video screen in Tokyo, Japan, broadcasting a news report showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, following a North Korean missile test that passed over Japan on September 15, 2017. (AFP photo)
China has once again warned against the potential use of military action to resolve a conflict involving North Korea’s nuclear program, saying the dispute should solely be settled through peaceful means.
“We have always believed that military means should not be an option to resolve the nuclear issue on the peninsula. Because arms cannot resolve the differences and can only cause a bigger disaster. No side can accept this,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing on Wednesday.
China is concerned that an ongoing war of words between the United States and North Korea, which was escalated after the North carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, could spark a full-fledged confrontation in the region.
North Korea has warned that it could target the mainland US with its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Pyongyang also claims that it has mastered the technology to fit its powerful nuclear weapons on the missiles. The threats came after the US and allies piled more economic pressure on North Korea after it successfully test-fired two ICBMs in July. US President Donald Trump even warned of “fire ad fury like the world has never seen.” The two sides have continued to threaten each other, creating fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications.
The Chinese spokesman said the continued rhetoric could further escalate the situation. “We hope all sides can avoid words and actions that intensify the problem and may cause the situation to continue to escalate.”
The official reiterated China’s opposition to North Korea’s intensified weapons program, saying, however, that Beijing was also interested in maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula. Kang said Beijing was "resolute in working for the protection of the peninsula’s peace and stability and uphold a peaceful resolution for the nuclear issue via dialogue and consultation."

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