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Trump and Xi say North Korea must stop provocation

Min Jeong Lee and Takashi Amano, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping agreed that North Korea must stop provocative behavior, reiterating their mutual commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula amid elevated global tensions.

Trump and the Chinese president affirmed that a recent United Nations resolution was an important and necessary step toward achieving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, according to a White House readout of a phone call between the two leaders Saturday.

Xi also told Trump that all concerned parties must maintain restraint and should avoid remarks and actions that could escalate tension, China's CCTV reported. Trump said earlier that he's ready to use military force to end continual threats and provocations by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The phone call between the two leaders came as Japan set up a missile-defense system in western areas of the country. The deployment of four Patriot interceptors in the Shimane, Ehime, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures began Friday and was expected to be completed Saturday, a spokesman for Japan's Ministry of Defense said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told local media earlier on Saturday that he would "do his best" to protect the lives and property of the Japanese people.

South Korea hopes the talks between Trump and Xi will be an opportunity to ease the high tensions and shift the situation into a new phase, South Korea's presidential Blue House was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

The European Union's Political and Security Committee will meet Monday in a session called by foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to discuss "possible next steps" on North Korea, according to an emailed statement.

Tensions have been rising over the past week as North Korea and the U.S. exchanged a series of threats after the United NationsN Security Council agreed to new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program, aiming to cut its exports by about $1 billion a year.

Trump saod that Kim Jong Un's regime would face a devastating military strike if it continued threatening the U.S. North Korea responded by saying that it was "seriously examining" a plan to strike Guam with four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic missiles.

Trump issued another warning Friday, saying that if Kim makes any "overt threat" or strike at a U.S. territory or ally "he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast."

(c)2017 Bloomberg News

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