By Michael Martina and Christian Shepherd
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a peaceful resolution of rising tension on the Korean peninsula in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards the region.
Trump's call with Xi, just days after they met in the United States, came as an influential state-run Chinese newspaper warned that the Korean peninsula was the closest it has been to a "military clash" since North Korea's first nuclear test in 2006.
The communication between the leaders underscores the increasing sense of urgency as tension escalates amid concern that reclusive North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test, or more missile launches, and Trump's threat of unilateral action to solve the problem.
Trump had ordered the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to head to the Korean peninsula in an attempt to deter North Korea's nuclear and long-range missile ambitions, which it is developing in defiance of U.N. resolutions and sanctions.
Trump pressed Xi to do more to curb North Korea's nuclear programme when they held their first face-to-face meeting in Florida last week.
He said on Twitter on Tuesday that North Korea was "looking for trouble" and the United States would "solve the problem" with or without China's help.
In their telephone call, Xi stressed that China "is committed to the target of denuclearization on the peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, and advocates resolving problems through peaceful means", Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said.
Read More (...)