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Trump defies calls for restraint with new warning to NKorea

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President Donald Trump on Friday ignored international calls for restraint in his face-off with North Korea, warning Pyongyang that it would “truly regret” taking any hostile action, as the US military is “locked and loaded.”

Trump has been engaged all week in a war of words with the North over its weapons and missile programs, as US media reported Pyongyang has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead.

The Republican billionaire has progressively ramped up the tone throughout the week — after brandishing a threat of unleashing “fire and fury” on Pyongyang, he said Thursday maybe that statement “wasn’t tough enough.”

The North’s official KCNA news service countered in an editorial that “Trump is driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war,” calling the US “the heinous nuclear war fanatic.”

The saber-rattling has intensified daily, sparking worldwide concerns that a miscalculation by either side could trigger a catastrophic conflict on the Korean peninsula.

China, Russia and Germany have urged both sides to tone down the rhetoric.

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” Trump wrote Friday from his golf club retreat in New Jersey, where he is on a working vacation.

Later in the day, he lashed out at Pyongyang’s plans to launch missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, urging Kim to heed his warnings.

“I hope that they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said, and what I said is what I mean,” Trump told reporters.

“If he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast.”

– ‘Be cautious’ –

China — Pyongyang’s main diplomatic ally — urged Trump and Kim to avoid any further escalation.

“We call on the relevant parties to be cautious with their words and actions, and contribute more toward easing tensions and enhancing mutual trust,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.

Beijing has repeatedly pushed resuming long-dormant six-party talks to peacefully resolve the mounting tensions, but its position has been overshadowed by Trump and Kim’s emerging game of brinkmanship.

Trump has called on China to “do a lot more” to heap pressure on Kim.


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