CHINA has warned Donald Trump his threats against North Korea could “backfire bigly” and lead to a “catastrophic war”.
Trump further inflamed tensions on the Korean Peninsula by flying a squadron of military planes over the region late on Tuesday night.
Six planes – including a “nuclear sniffer” and two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers – took part in the brazen show of force.
The provocative move came after Trump suggested military action against North Korea may be the only option in a series of tweets.
The US President reportedly summoned his top war generals to the White House War Room amid fears North Korea may test another missile.
As the crisis deepens, Chinese newspaper the People’s Daily has urged both nations to “cool it” on Tuesday.
“War on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic, and dialogue remains the best option,” the state-owned paper warned.
“His threats seem to be part of a larger strategy, coherent or not, to instill fear in Pyongyang, so that it will agree to US demands to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes.”
“War on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic.” People’s Daily
In a dig at the President’s 2016 election campaign rhetoric, the paper said Trump’s threats “could backfire bigly”.
The article was published on the same day the Chinese foreign ministry called for calm on the Korean Peninsula.
“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains highly complex and severe,” Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said.
“We hope that various parties can strictly observe and implement the UN Security Council resolutions, refrain from provoking each other and aggravating the contradiction, exercise restraint and caution to ease the tension.”
China’s Global Times also warned Trump against making a “fatal misjudgment” in an “extreme atmosphere”.
“Washington and Pyongyang have been intensifying hostile and threatening rhetoric against each other for some time. Their frequent saber-rattling, unimaginable in the past, is escalating tensions in northeast Asia,” the paper wrote on Tuesday.