China has made a worrying statement once again that “conflict could break out at any moment” as tension over North Korea increases.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said if war occurred there could be no winner.
Mr Wang’s comments arrive as the US voices mounting anxiety at North Korea’s expansion of nuclear weapons and deploy a Navy carrier force of the Korean peninsula. China, North Korea’s only benefactor, fears war could cause the government to drop and problems on its border.
Mr Wang said: “One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment.
“I think that all relevant parties should be highly vigilant with regards to this situation.”
“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.”
Continuing Chinese unease, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that
“the problem of North Korea” would be “taken care of”
“If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
The North Korean army acknowledged on Friday by declaring it would “mercilessly foil” any US provocation.
“Our toughest counteraction against the U.S. and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive,”
read a statement from the army in North Korea, reported in English by North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA.
China is concerned any conflict could lead to a huge refugee problem on its border with North Korea. It also fears the collapse of the North Korean regime, which would remove a buffer between China and a country with US military bases, and has thus long been wary of pushing Pyongyang too. However, it recently blocked coal imports from the North. Showing a massive swing in their tactics to isolate the north.
There is also the serious consideration that North Korea could carry out a sixth nuclear bomb test or another missile launch – perhaps a long-range missile – on Saturday.
Saturday marks the 105th anniversary of the birth of its first leader, Kim Il-sung.