BEIJING/PYONGYANG, Apr 13: Military force cannot resolve tension over North Korea, China said today, while an influential Chinese newspaper urged the North to halt its nuclear programme in exchange for Chinese protection.
With a US aircraft carrier group steaming to the area and tension rising, South Korea said it believed the United States would consult it before any pre-emptive strike against the North.
Fears have been growing that the reclusive North could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of UN sanctions and stark warnings from the United States that a policy of patience was over.
China, North Korea’s sole major ally and benefactor, which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to a peaceful resolution and the denuclearistaion of the peninsula.
“Military force cannot resolve the issue,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing.