Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump during a phone call Saturday that the U.S. and North Korea need to deescalate tensions over the latter’s nuclear program.
“The relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula,” Xi was quoted as saying on Saturday in Chinese state media, according to an Associated Press report.
Xi’s call to Trump came after the U.S. president re-upped his military threats against North Korea on Friday. Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded,” warning North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that he would regret any attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
The White House said in a statement that the leaders “reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and “agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior.”
In recent months, North Korea has continued to conduct ballistic missile tests despite calls to stop from the White House.
Trump has reportedly grown increasingly impatient with China for what he views as their inability to rein in their neighbor.
Both Trump and Xi hailed the U.N. Security Council’s tightening of sanctions against North Korea, which came as a result of a unanimous vote last week in which the Chinese joined the U.S. in pushing for tougher penalties on North Korean exports.