Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against any tension-raising actions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea threatened to conduct a long-range rocket launch and nuclear test.
“We oppose any actions that might cause tension in the Korean Peninsula or violate U.N. Security Council resolutions,” said Xi without mentioning North Korea directly. The warning came during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
“The United States and China have reaffirmed our commitment to the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” said Obama.
“We reaffirm our commitment to realize the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful way,” Xi responded.
Obama said Washington and Beijing would not accept Pyongyang as a nuclear-armed state.
“We demand the full implementation of all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state,” said Obama.
Recently, the communist country announced that it has started all its nuclear facilities. The announcement followed an earlier threat that it could launch a “series of satellites” into space.
Analysts suspect Pyongyang might fire a long-range rocket to mark the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party on October 10.
Kim Min-seok, spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry, told reporters on Thursday that the South Korean military had not detected any signals indicating a launch might be imminent.
In the past, Pyongyang has notified relevant international organizations of plans to launch long-range rockets.
On Friday, the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization told VOA they had not received such a notification from North Korea. North Korea is a member of both organizations.
The United States and North Korea have been at odds over Pyongyang’s long-range rocket launch. Pyongyang insists the launch is part of a peaceful space mission involving a satellite. Washington rejects the claim, citing the Security Council resolutions banning the use of ballistic missile technology by Pyongyang.
A State Department spokesperson told VOA this week that multiple Security Council resolutions require North Korea to “stop conducting any launches using ballistic missile technology.”
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea of “severe consequences” if it conducted a long-range rocket launch or nuclear test.