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Conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment", China warns

Friday April 14, 2017 5:23 PM, Agencies

[The USS Carl Vinson, the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E Meyer and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain participate in an exercise with Japanese destroyers in March. Photograph: US navy/EPA ]

A conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment", China said Friday, warning there would be no winner in any war as tensions soar with the United States.

"Lately, tensions have risen... and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment," Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said, according to AFP.

"If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner."

Whichever side provoked a conflict "must assume the historic responsibility and pay the corresponding price," he said in a joint press conference with his visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

The Chinese warning came after US President Donald Trump said the North Korea problem "will be taken care of", as speculation mounts the reclusive state could be preparing another nuclear or missile test.

Trump sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group described as 'armada' to the Korean peninsula to press his point, one of a series of measures that indicate his willingness to shake up foreign policy strategy.

North Korean state media later warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of aggression as the US aircraft strike group sailed towards the Korean peninsula.

Meanwhile, Japan is also preparing to send several warships to join the US aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force designed to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.

Citing two well-placed sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters and the Kyodo news agency said several destroyers from Japan’s maritime self-defence forces would join the USS Carl Vinson and its battle group as it enters the East China Sea.

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