A US bomber, flanked by a South Korean jet, prepares to drop a 2,000-pound live bomb during war games in South Korea on September 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
have urged the United States to resolve tensions with North Korea
through diplomacy instead of threatening military action.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian criticized US President Donald Trump’s method of “verbal jousting” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which he said had further increased tensions with Pyongyang.
“The world is living in a dangerous period,” Le Drian said. “At the moment, we’re at a verbal clash, but there could be an incident. We need to avoid incidents.”
“Trump’s method is perhaps not the best, but at the same time we shouldn’t mix up the responsibilities,” Le Drian said, accusing Pyongyang of “breaking with nuclear international agreements.”
“President Trump is reacting forcefully to this, but without a doubt, there is a way to act in a different way by putting pressure and sanctions,” he added.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (Photo by AFP)
He also urged Trump to put “a maximum amount of pressure” on Pyongyang to get it back to the negotiating table.
North Korea said on Monday that Trump had declared war on Pyongyang at the United Nations General Assembly by threatening to “totally destroy” the North if necessary.
Trump’s remarks, which attracted criticism for being crude — he called North Korea’s leader a “rocket man” — and aggressive also worked to ratchet up tensions with Pyongyang.
Speaking at a daily news
briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang (pictured below) also called on both sides to “avoid words and actions that intensify the problem and may cause the situation to continue to escalate.”
“We have always believed that military means should not be an option to resolve the nuclear issue on the peninsula,” Lu said. “Because arms cannot resolve the differences and can only cause a bigger disaster. No side can accept this.”
Trump threatened on Tuesday that any US military option would be “devastating” for Pyongyang.
The US also sent bombers for a military maneuver over waters east of North Korea. The Pentagon said Saturday that its bombers from Guam and Okinawa in Japan had flown in international airspace over the waters in “a clear message that the President has many military options to defeat any threat.”
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho later said that, because of Trump’s “declaration of war,” Pyongyang now had every right to shoot down US warplanes flying near the Korean Peninsula.