As tensions soar rapidly in the Korean peninsula between the US and North Korea, China has once again urged all sides to exercise restraint and "stop irritating each other". China's comments came in response to the US flying nuclear-capable bombers over the region in another show of force to rein in Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.
Two US supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the Korean peninsula on Monday (1 May) as part of a joint drill with South Korea's air force. North Korea reacted strongly to the exercise accusing the US of "pushing" the Korean peninsula to the "brink of nuclear war" through its "reckless military provocation".
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday (3 May) that the situation in the Korean peninsula following the US' recent military drill and North Korea's response to it was "highly complex" and sensitive.
"We again urge all relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, stop irritating each other, work hard to create an atmosphere for contact and dialogue between all sides, and seek a return to the correct path of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible," he told reporters.
Geng pointed that the imperative task for all the parties involved should be to resume dialogues soon and bring down the tensions in the region.
Deploying supersonic bombers was the latest attempt by the Trump administration aimed at containing Pyongyang. The drills came amid heightened tensions on the divided peninsula over another probable North Korean nuclear test and ballistic missile launches.
Pyongyang responded to the drills, threatening to strike the US with a "precious sword of nuclear weapons". It also alleged the flight of the two bombers were conducting "a nuclear bomb dropping drill against major objects" in Pyongyang's territory, according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.
The exercise came as US President Donald Trump made a surprise comment that he would be "honoured" to meet North Korean supreme Kim Jong-un under right circumstances. Although Trump did not elaborate when he would want to meet Kim or what conditions would be needed for such a meeting, but his comments drew criticisms in Washington.