Donald Trump called the Chinese President to discuss Kim Jong-un
This morning the US President tweeted: “Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea.”
Donald Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping on the telephone to discuss the escalating tensions between the US and North Korea.
Mr Xi took the opportunity to call for a peaceful resolution amid fears that the US could take unilateral action against Kim Jong-un.
Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that Mr Xi said China "is committed to the target of denuclearisation on the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means."
The unexpected telephone call came after Mr Trump tweeted: “North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them!
“I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!”
Tensions have escalated further today after reports that Japan is planning to join a US Navy strike group in the waters off the Korean peninsula.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who said Trump had initiated the phone call, urged all the actors involved to maintain peace and stability.
"We hope that the relevant parties do not adopt irresponsible actions. Under the current circumstances, this is very dangerous," Lu told reporters at a regular press briefing.
The unexpected telephone call came after Mr Trump and Mr Xi discussed the threat posed by North Korea during a face-to-face meeting in Florida last week.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the press that Mr Xi understands that “action has to be taken” to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.
Mr Xi did not make any public commitment on North Korea, but there are signs that China is taking a tougher line on its long-time ally and trading partner.
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Forbidden photographs depict the true North Korean army
Wed, April 12, 2017
While tourists are able to visit North Korea as part of a controlled tour group, they are asked by their handlers to never take photographs of soldiers. These pictures taken by photographer Eric Lafforgue show the reality of military service in the secretive state
ERIC LAFFORGUE/EXCLUSIVEPIX MEDI
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Army time in North Korea
On Monday China and South Korea agreed to slap tougher sanctions on North Korea if the country carries out nuclear or long-range missile tests, according to an official in Seoul.
Yesterday White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: “China has had a very economic and political influence on North Korea over the years, and I think that when it comes to a shared national interest of ensuring that Korea doesn't obtain the nuclear capabilities to threaten any people, that is something that we should all agree upon and is something that he talked about with President Xi as an area shared national interest.
“And I think that North Korea clearly understands where the United States stands on this, and I think he would welcome President Xi weighing on this a little bit more.”