A man looks at replicas of a North Korean Scud-B missile (R) and South Korean missiles at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul on Thursday.
Photo: AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images
Photo: AFP Contributor/AFP/Getty Images

Newspaper: China should stay neutral if N. Korea fires first on US

A state-run newspaper urged that China should remain neutral if North Korea follows through on its plans to fire missiles near Guam, Reuters reported Friday.

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The comments by the Global Times came after President Donald Trump raised the level of his rhetoric against North Korea on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation's Cuban missile crisis moment,” ING's chief Asia economist, Robert Carnell, told Reuters. "While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution."

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis..

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times said in an editorial. “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

Friday morning, Trump tweeted that U.S. military solutions were “locked and loaded” in case North Korea followed through on its threat.

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