China's Xi Jinping urges calm in call with Donald Trump as US-North Korea tensions rise

China's Xi Jinping urges calm in call with Donald Trump as US-North Korea tensions rise

China's Xi Jinping urges calm in call with Donald Trump as US-North Korea tensions rise

Updated 13 August 2017, 9:15 AEST

China's President Xi Jinping calls for a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue, using a phone call to urge President Donald Trump not to further antagonise Kim Jong-un.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearise the Korean peninsula during a phone conversation, the White House said in a statement.

Key points:

  • Trump and Xi agree UN resolutions on N. Korea, an important step towards achieving stability
  • Relationship between two presidents is "extremely close," says White House
  • N.Korea says nearly 3.5 million people have volunteered to join its army

Mr Trump and Mr 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, it added.

"President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour," the statement said.

The White House said the "relationship between the two presidents is an extremely close one, and will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem".

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles into the seas around the US Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to US bombers.

If carried out, it would be its most provocative missile launch to date.

Mr Trump previously said the US would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the US, and has shown no signs of softening his rhetoric in the days since then.

Millions volunteer for People's Army, says North Korea

North Korea said nearly 3.5 million workers, party members and soldiers volunteered to join or re-join its army to resist new UN sanctions and to fight against the United States in the current geopolitical tension between Pyongyang and Washington.

Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's official newspaper, said the volunteers had offered to join or re-join the People's Army after the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) issued a statement condemning new sanctions imposed by the United Nations in retaliation for North Korean missile tests.

Earlier this week, nuclear-armed North Korea threatened to strike the United States and its Pacific territory of Guam.

KCNA said a mass rally was held in Pyongyang to support the government.

North Korea has previously mobilised large crowds to show its resolve when tensions escalate.

In August 2015, one million North Koreans offered to enlist or re-enlist in the army when a mine exploded in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas, raising additional tensions.

North Korea warned foreign diplomats to leave Pyongyang in 2013 when it suspended work at a joint inter-Korean industrial park and threatened missile strikes on US Pacific bases, notably in Guam and Hawaii.

Reuters