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China urged calm and coolheadedness in the wake of North Korea threat

Updated August 12, 2017 07:00 AM EDT

As tension continues to escalate between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a plea for coolheadedness in a phone conversation with Trump on Friday, urging both sides to refrain from using rhetoric or action that could worsen the situation.

The call came one day after the 45th-commander-in-chief continued to show no remorse for his increasingly hostile rhetoric toward North Korea. On Friday, he declared that the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" should the regime "act unwisely." During a press conference on national security, Trump said Kim Jong-un would "he would truly regret it, and regret it fast."

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According to State-run China Central Television, Xi was quoted telling Trump "the relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the North Korean Peninsula."

In the past, Trump has called on China, which is Pyongyang's biggest economic partner and source of aid, to pressure the North from developing its nuclear weapons program. China, however, says it doesn't have the power alone to compel North Korea to end its missile program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

President Trump on Friday warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he will "truly regret" threatening the U.S. or any of its allies again.

"This man will not get away with what he is doing," he said at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. "If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat...Which, by the way, he has been uttering for years, and his family has been uttering for years."

"If he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast."

Some Twitter users on Friday praised Trump for talking tough against Kim, who leads a communist nation that has repeatedly threatened to attack the U.S.

Other people on the social media platform expressed concern that Trump and Kim are not softening the potential for open conflict between the U.S. and North Korea.

Trump said he was not mincing words when he tweeted earlier Friday that "military solutions are fully in place, locked and loaded" if North Korea does not alter its behavior.


"I think it's pretty obvious," he said of his intent with the tweet. "I hope they are going to fully understand the gravity of what I said. And what I said is what I mean. Those words are very, very easy to understand."

Trump additionally dismissed critics who have accused him of speaking too bluntly while dealing with rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

"My critics are only saying that because it's me," he said. "If somebody else uttered the exact same words as I uttered, they would say, 'What a great statement, what a wonderful statement.'"

"We have tens of millions of people in this country who are so happy with what I'm saying. They're saying, 'Finally, we have someone who's sticking up for this country, and frankly, friends of our country.'"

North Korea's military on Wednesday reportedly said it would complete its strategy to launch missile strikes in the waters near Guam by mid-August and wait for Kim's order to strike.

Trump insisted the day before that North Korea will be met with "fire, fury, and frankly power" should it keep making intimidating overtures to the U.S.

Guam is a U.S. territory that hosts Andersen Air Force base, which makes it a crucial part of the American military's presence in the Pacific region.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that North Korea has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead that can fit on a ballistic missile.

Turmp has vowed he will not permit North Korea to acquire nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S., a goal which the Asian nation has long sought to accomplish.

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