President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war and world powers expressed alarm.
The Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would proceed as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonize North Korea.
China, Russia and Germany voiced dismay at the war of words between Pyongyang and Washington.
Trump, who has pressed China to help rein in its ally North Korea, spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping by telephone on Friday night, with the two leaders reiterating their mutual commitment to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the White House said in a statement.
“President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior,” the statement said, adding the relationship between the two presidents was “an extremely close one, and will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem.”
Trump and Xi also agreed that the recent adoption of a United Nations Security Council resolution on North Korea was an important step toward achieving peace and stability on the peninsula, the statement said.