Xi calls for restraint in phone talks with Trump

FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. (Reuters photo)

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for restraint and stressed that the North Korea issue must be dealt with via peaceful means in a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, official media said.

China’s state-run broadcaster CCTV quoted Mr Xi as telling Mr Trump that maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula is in the common interest of both sides and any escalation in the current situation should be avoided.

To solve the North Korean issue, Mr Xi told Mr Trump that “in the final analysis, it is necessary to adhere to the direction of dialogue and negotiation, and a political solution”.

Mr Xi’s remarks came at a time when Mr Trump has been exchanging increasingly fiery words with North Korea over its nuclear and missile development programs and threats to launch attacks.

Mr Trump tweeted Friday that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

Mr Trump and Xi agreed that North Korea must halt “its provocative and escalatory behaviour” and that the additional sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council this month were needed for achieving peace and stability on the peninsula, the White House said.

The two presidents also reiterated they will strengthen cooperation toward the denuclearisation of the peninsula and stay in close communication on other major issues, according to CCTV and the White House.

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