Following North Korea's firing a ballistic missile across Japan overnight, China has warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reacha "tipping point" and urged all sides to avoid provocations.
Seems pretty provocative to us...
As ChannelNewsAsia reports, Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged all sides to avoid provocations and repeated Beijing's call for the North to suspend missile tests in return for a halt to US-South Korean military exercises.
The situation is "now at a tipping point approaching a crisis. At the same time there is an opportunity to reopen peace talks," Hua told a regular news briefing.
"We hope relevant parties can consider how we can de-escalate the situation on the peninsula and realise peace and stability on the peninsula," she added.
Hua said the United States and South Korea "held one round after another of joint military exercises and they exerted military pressure on the DPRK (North Korea)".
"After so many rounds and vicious cycles, do they feel they are nearer to peaceful settlement of the issue?
"The facts have proven that pressure and sanctions cannot fundamentally solve the issue," she said, referring to UN sanctions imposed against North Korea.
China has backed the sanctions but also called for peace talks, but as Russia explains, sanctions pressure appears exhausted.
As if this was not clear enough, Russia has also stepped up its rhetoric, with Reuters noting that a senior Russian lawmaker said on Tuesday that North Korea’s latest missile test shows its threat to fire four missiles into the waters near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam was not a bluff.
“Alas, Pyongyang has demonstrated that its threats to the U.S. base on Guam are not a bluff,” Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the upper house of parliament’s international affairs committee, said on social media.
Kosachev also said that a United Nations Security Council resolution regarding North Korea’s missile program which passed this month had failed to achieve its objective, “because the situation has turned into a bilateral standoff between North Korea and the United States”.
Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is visiting the UAE, insisted North Korea back down...
"Regarding North Korea and the missile tests it is conducting, we stick to the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and we insist on the fact that our North Korean neighbours should fully respect those resolutions," Lavrov said.
"We base our position on these statements during discussions in the Security Council and will do the same in the session, which as far as we understand is being planned now and which will be dedicated to discussing the last missile launches from North Korea."
Finally, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov told reporters that while we can expect new sanctions pressure on the DPRK after the last launch, such pressure is exhausted..
"Judging by how colleges from the US and other countries acted in similar situations, the US allies - of course, we can expect new steps towards strengthening the sanctions regime," he said.
"But it will not solve the problems, it is already obvious that the resource of sanctions pressure on the DPRK has been exhausted."
"It is no longer possible to adopt resolutions in the UN Security Council that do not contain a clear indication that there can not be a military solution to the problem, but only a political one. A provision that would rule out additional unilateral sanctions beyond those that are collectively taken by the UN Security Council, "the Russian diplomat continued.
Either way, it appears Russia and China are pushing back to Trump to 'do something'.