Conflict could break out at any moment' over North Korea: China

Han Song Ryol North Korea's vice foreign minister listens to a translator during an interview with The Associated Press on Friday

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has again warned on Friday that a conflict can break out at any time as tensions rise between the US and North Korea.

Concerns have been growing that North Korea could soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of U.N. sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that its policy of strategic patience was over. "If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no victor".

It is expected that the country may carry out a new nuclear test as USS Carl Vinson, a United States aircraft carrier with a navy strike group on board, is sailing in waters near the Korean Peninsula.

Wang and Ayrault revealed at the press conference held after their meeting that they had discussed bilateral issues and major worldwide crises such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the civil war in Syria.

The US military on Thursday dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb it possesses on Afghanistan, targeting a complex used by the Islamic State group.

Trump also flexed USA military muscle last week by ordering cruise-missile strikes on a Syrian air base the United States believed was the origin of a chemical weapons attack on civilians in a northern Syrian town.


Adding to Chinese unease, President Donald Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the USA was not afraid of acting alone on North Korea.

"We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage", Mr Wang said.

Any US strike on North Korea could prompt retaliation against allies or US forces in South Korea or Japan.

North Korea is set to mark the 105 birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung - the founding leader of North Korea and grandfather of the current leader Kim Jong-un - on Saturday, 15 April known locally as the Day of Sun.

Rattled by Trump's behavior, Beijing - Pyongyang's sole major ally and economic lifeline - has adopted a tougher line against its neighbor, including suspending coal imports from the country for the remainder of the year.

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