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Chinese President Xi Jinping on phone with Trump urges all sides to exercise restraint over Korean peninsula

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Published: 10:23 GMT, Apr 24, 2017 |
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Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Monday discussed bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula over phone, pledging close contact through various means to promptly exchange views on major issues of common concern.

The phone call, which took place Monday morning Beijing time, came as South Korean officials warned there is a chance that the North will conduct a nuclear test or a maiden intercontinental missile launch around the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday.

But during his phone call with Mr Trump, Mr Xi said he hoped all relevant sides would exercise restraint and “avoid doing anything to worsen the tense situation on the peninsula”, a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Japan conducts joint drills with a US aircraft carrier strike group headed for Korean waters. The carrier group was sent by Mr Trump for exercises in waters off the Korean peninsula as a warning, amid growing fears North Korea could conduct another nuclear test soon in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

Two Japanese destroyers have already joined the carrier group for drills in the western Pacific, and South Korea has said it is also in talks about holding joint naval exercises.

Xi Jinping said China strongly opposes any actions against the UN Security Council resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Chinese president said a resolution can only be reached when all parties share responsibilities and work towards the same direction.

He added that China is willing to join concerned parties, including the US, to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders also agreed to maintain close communication over core issues. Trump said he is looking forward to the state visit to China.