China issued a warning Friday regarding the tense situation in North Korea, saying "storm clouds" are "gathering" in the region and the threat of war is inching closer and closer.
"The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering," said China's foreign minister Wang Yi, according to The New York Times.
"We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats, whether through words or deeds, and don't push the situation to the point where it can't be turned around and gets out of hand.
"No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this."
President Donald Trump has taken a hard stance against North Korea's military aggression. Reports say that the reclusive nation may conduct a nuclear test this weekend. The U.S. sent a Navy strike group led by the U.S.S. Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the region to keep a close eye on things.
North Korea's vice foreign minster said Friday his nation is ready to go to war with the U.S.
"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words," Han Song Ryol said. "It's not the [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] but the U.S. and Trump that makes trouble.
"We will go to war if they choose."
There have been other reports that suggest the U.S. may conduct a preemptive strike on North Korea before it can launch any sort of attack on the U.S. or South Korea.
Saturday is the 105th birthday of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung, and reports say that its current leader Kim Jong-un may conduct a nuclear test or fire a ballistic missile to celebrate.
Any conflict on the Korean peninsula would likely involve China, a North Korean neighbor and ally that opposes its nuclear weapons program.
"Military force cannot resolve the issue," Wang said Thursday.
"Amid tensions, we will also find a kind of opportunity to return to talks."
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