Xi Jinping, the leader of North Korea's key ally China, urged Trump on Saturday to avoid rhetoric that could inflame tensions, after the U.S. leader ramped up his warnings to Pyongyang, saying the Stalinist regime would "truly regret" taking hostile action against the United States.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday warned against an "escalation of tensions" over North Korea amid a growing war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. North Korea responded by saying it was considering a plan to attack Guam and dismissed Trump's warnings as a "load of nonsense".
He added that President Trump was "much more restrained" during a press conference on Friday afternoon, just hours after the "locked and loaded" tweet, but the bold statements continued, including one insisting that the leader of North Korea will "regret it fast" if he "utters one threat" against American territory or allies.
The White House says that Trump - in a phone call Friday to President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) - saluted Xi for China's United Nations vote to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea.
France is a member of the Security Council, which approved fresh sanctions on North Korea this month for its recent intercontinental ballistic missile testing. While North Korea is testing the patience of its longtime benefactor, such a scenario could lead to a unified Korea and push US troops right up to China's border. All parties must assure North Koreans they we will forego any military action against them if North Korea remains peaceful.
The two leaders also reiterated a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. They may continue launching missile tests but they don't want a war, and the USA doesn't want military action either.
Trump said he would consider negotiations with North Korea and declined to discuss the possibility of a preemptive strike against Pyongyang.
Jamil Jaffer, founder of the National Security Institute at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School in Arlington, Virginia, said Trump's "muscular response" to North Korea was "the exact type of resolve we need to force the hand" of Pyongyang's "Chinese patrons".