'Absurd, reckless' remarks can have 'grave consequences': North Korea warns China

'Absurd, reckless' remarks can have 'grave consequences': North Korea warns China

Animosity between Pyongyang and Washington has spiked in recent weeks amid a game of brinkmanship between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

The WeChat account of the overseas edition of the People's Daily, in its reaction to the KCNA piece, said it was clear that North Korea's nuclear and missile activities were a threat to China.

North Korea has confirmed it has arrested an American professor, claiming he had committed "hostile acts aimed to subvert the country".

"I want to do everything I can to be a go-between between our two countries to help convince the leadership in China that it's in their interest to work together to stop this risky direction that is coming out of North Korea", Branstad said during the hearing.

After vast United States pressure on China to use its leverage to resolve the nuclear standoff with its neighbour, China has suspended imports of North Korean coal in line with UN sanctions and has been urging its traditional ally to stop nuclear and missile activities.

North Korea is on a mission to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead, and has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them past year.

"The reckless military provocation is pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula closer to the brink of nuclear war", KCNA said on Tuesday.

"As Secretary Tillerson said on Friday, business as usual is not an option".

Kim is one of three Americans thought to be held by North Korea.

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North Korean state media have issued a stinging denunciation of the country's chief ally and diplomatic backer China, saying Beijing should be grateful for its protection.

Previously, the US itself prepared a plan of evacuation of its 230,000 citizens from the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. State Department had no comment Wednesday on Kim's detention, citing privacy concerns.

"China", read a statement from North Korea's Central News Agency, "had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the DPRK-China relations".

DPRK is the acronym for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It criticised China's "ignorant politicians and media" for supporting stricter sanctions on North Korea.

The White House promptly told the press that conditions were not right yet.

Pyongyang, which has conducted a string of nuclear tests and missile launches, warned Monday that it was prepared to carry out another atomic test "at any time and at any location" set by its leadership unless Washington scraps its hostile policies.

Tillerson said China has reaffirmed support for a "denuclearised" Korean peninsula but that Washington would test their commitment to help rein in their neighbour by "leaning into them hard".

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