World leaders appeal for calm as tensions flare in US and North Korea rift

World leaders appeal for calm as tensions flare in US and North Korea rift

China among governments around globe urging Trump and Kim Jong-un to avoid further inflammatory words or actions

Global leaders have called for Donald Trump to avoid further tensions with North Korea. Photograph: AFP Contributor#AFP/Getty Images

(the guardian) — Global leaders called for calm and a return to negotiations after Donald Trump’s warning that the US is willing to be impose unprecedented fire and fury on North Korea unless it stops threatening the United States with a nuclear attack.

China urged Trump and Kim Jong-un to avoid “any words or actions” that might cause further tensions. Pyongyang had responded to Trump’s warning, saying it was considering a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam.

In a brief statement, China’s foreign ministry said “even greater efforts” were now needed to resolve the issue through talks.

What are North Korea’s nuclear capabilities?


North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests since 2006, so it unquestionably has the capacity to create some form of nuclear bomb.

To function effectively, however, the bomb needs to be small enough to fit on to a missile. Some experts believe the North has already “miniaturised” its nuclear capability, while others believe the regime is still several years away from being able to do so. Japan’s defence ministry warned on 8 August that it was possible that Pyongyang had mastered miniaturisation.

North Korea would also need a reliable delivery system for any bomb. Its proven short- and medium-range missiles could reach South Korea and Japan. In July it test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles, placing US cities in range of potential attack, according to US experts.