(AP) – Chinese state media say President Xi Jinping, in a call with President Donald Trump, said all sides should avoid rhetoric or action that would worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
China Central Television on Saturday cited Xi as saying that Beijing and Washington are both interested in the denuclearization of the peninsula.
The report quotes Xi as saying: “At present, the relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula.”
Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States. China is the North’s biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can’t compel Pyongyang to end its nuclear and missile programs.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he will do everything he can to protect the Japanese people as tensions escalate over North Korean plans to send missiles flying over Japan toward Guam.
Abe says: “I will do everything, to the best of my ability, to protect the safety and property of the Japanese people.”
He made comments Saturday while visiting his father’s tomb in his ancestral hometown of Nagato in western Japan.
Friday, the Defense Ministry said it was deploying four of Japan’s surface-to-air Patriot interceptors in western Japan to respond to a possible risk of fragments falling from missiles.
The ministry did not confirm whether Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has already issued an order to shoot down incoming missiles.