The superpower warned the situation must be stopped from reaching an “irreversible and unmanageable stage” as a US aircraft carrier group steams towards the region amid fears North Korea may conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test.
North Korea vowed it would defend itself hours after the US find 59 missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly chemical attack.
The US has also warned the policy of “strategic patience” is over as tensions threaten to spill over.
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Stop it- China has warned the US and North Korea to stop threatening each other amid fears of war
The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering
China's foreign minister Wang Yi
China, North Korea’s ally and neighbour, has called for both Washington and Pyongyang to control the situation.
According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, foreign minister, Wang Yi, said: “The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering.
“We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats, whether through words or deeds, and don’t push the situation to the point where it can’t be turned around and gets out of hand.
“No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this.”
Despite being North Korea’s sole ally, China disapproves of the North's weapons programmes, and its confrontations with the US and its Asian allies, and has supported UN sanctions against it.
Today, China’s national airline Air China denied reports it had suspended all flights to Pyongyang.
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North Korea has vowed to defend itself
Foreign minister Wang Yi said the situation must not reach “irreversible and unmanageable stage"
Air China says it has “temporarily cancelled some flights” due to poor demand.
Following repeated missile tests that drew international criticism, China banned all imports of North Korean coal on February 26, cutting off the country's most important export product.
Mr Yi added: “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.”
Donald Trump has called on Chinese president Xi Jinping to help resolve the issue
The remarks come as Donald Trump presses China to do more to rein in North Korea amid Russian and Chinese foreign ministers discussing the situation.
Mr Trump has put North Korea on notice that he will not tolerate any more provocation and said he believes the isolated state is a problem that “will be taken care of”.
The US president has called on Chinese president Xi Jinping to resolve the issue saying he believes the premier will “work very hard” to tackle Pyongyang.
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US vice president Mike Spence is due to travel to South Korea on Sunday for a 10-day trip to Asia that was planned before the Syrian missile strike.
On Saturday, North Korea marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung in the “Day of the Sun”.
Pyongyang has previously used anniversaries to launch weapons tests sparking fears Kim Jong-un could conduct a sixth nuclear weapons test.