The war of words over the DPRK, China urges calm

World Today

The war of words over the DPRK, China urges calmThe Chinese minister Wang Yi visits Athens to attend the ministerial Conference of the states of the “Ancient Civilizations Forum” (ACForum), which will be held in the Greek capital on April 24. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has again called for a peaceful solution to the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. His remarks come as both Pyongyang and Washington move to increase pressure on each other over the nuclear issue.

CGTN’s White House correspondent Jessica Stone reports.

The war of words over the DPRK, China urges calm

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has again called for a peaceful solution to the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula. His remarks come as both Pyongyang and Washington move to increase pressure on each other over the nuclear issue. CGTN’s White House correspondent Jessica Stone reports.

Yet another call for calm on the Korean Peninsula from China’s foreign minister. For weeks, tensions have been mounting over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

“There have been enough confrontational rhetoric and acts recently. What we need is rational voices and peaceful solutions. China will not be swayed by disruptive voices, and will never give up its responsibilities. China will continue to maintain dialogue with relevant parties and to play a constructive role in resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula,” Wang Yi, Chinese Foreign Minister said.

Beijing is committed to the denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea through restarting peace talks. But in recent days, the threats among Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul are only escalating.

Sunday U.S. aircraft carrier strike group began training exercises with the Japanese maritime self defense forces in the Philippine Sea. The DPRK responded in a newspaper commentary by threatening to sink the USS Carl Vinson quote: “with a single strike.”

The U.S. Homeland Security Secretary said that Washington is taking Pyongyang’s nuclear threat seriously.

“The minute North Korea gets a missile that can reach the United States and put a weapon on that missile, a nuclear weapon, the instant that happens, this country is at grave risk,” John Kelly, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security said.

Adding to the tensions the DPRK has detained a third U.S. citizen – an accounting professor at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology. University officials say his name is Kim Sang-duk, but he goes by the name “Tony.”

DPRK authorities reportedly detained him at the airport Friday or Saturday while he was trying to leave for China where he was a professor. Kim has been reportedly involved in aid and relief programs to the DPRK.

In a statement, the university said: “We understand that this detention is related to an investigation into matters that are not connected in any way with the work of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.”

The State Department is aware of the detention of Kim Sang-duk. In the meantime, the White House plans this week to brief senators on its strategy to reduce DPRK nuclear tensions.