China and Russia Urge Restraint, Diplomacy as Korean Crisis Worsens

Friday, December 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

Leaders from the foreign ministries of both China and Russia have called on North Korea and the United States to end the cycle of provocation that the DPRK recently claimed was making war on the Korean Peninsula inevitable.

North Korea accused the US of “confrontational warmongering” that made inevitable a resumption of hostilities in Korea after 64 years of a shaky detente. “The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” the Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement. “We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it.”

The comments came in response to one of the Korean Peninsula’s largest military exercises of 2017, which is saying something: the US-South Korean “Vigilant Ace” air exercises that have involved 230 aircraft, including stealth fighters and B-1B strategic bombers that can be equipped with nuclear bombs.

It’s the same old story, but every week it seems to become just a little less about posturing and a little more about real preparation for calamitous warfare. China, who would likely would prefer not to have war on their borders, has pushed for cooler heads to prevail.

“We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a Wednesday statement. “The outbreak of war is not in any side’s interest. The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people.”

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