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China and Russia Push Restraint, Diplomacy over North Korea

China's President Xi Jinping called Trump late at night on Friday and urged restraint in rhetoric. | Photo: REUTERS China's President Xi Jinping called Trump late at night on Friday and urged restraint in rhetoric. | Photo: REUTERS
China and Russia are growing increasingly concerned about “over the top” rhetoric around the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as North Korea, and are encouraging restraint in both word and action.

Both countries have taken a stance of supporting a “double-freeze” plan, the immediate halt of all military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea, as well as a halt to any more missile tests by the DPRK, in order to sign a bilateral agreement of respect for sovereignty.

“If this double freezing finally takes place, then we can sit down and start from the very beginning – to sign a paper which will stress respect for the sovereignty of all those parties involved, including North Korea,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said according to Reuters.

Chinese President and Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on the phone on Friday late at night, and urged the U.S. President to back down on his rhetoric.

“The relevant side must at present exercise restraint, and avoid words and actions that exacerbate tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Xi was paraphrased as saying to Trump, according to Reuters.

Sergei Lavrov, has expressed that he is deeply worried by what he called “over the top” rhetoric, and said that the risks of a conflict are getting very high.

“I won't get into guessing what happens 'if.' We will do whatever we can to prevent this 'if,'” Lavrov said.

Chinese state media, the Communist Party affiliated Global Times, recently published an editorial saying that China would remain neutral in case of an attack on the U.S. by the DPRK, but that they would attempt to prevent any attempt at regime change by the U.S. and South Korea.

Pyongyang is demanding currently that the U.S. call off its annual war-games which are scheduled for later in August, and will involve over 30,000 U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump recently issued new bellicose threats to the DPRK, claiming U.S. weaponry is “locked and loaded.” However, when asked about his call with the Chinese President and his calls for restraint, Trump told reporters from his private golf resort “hopefully it will all work out.”

“Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you,” Trump said.

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