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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

France's Macron speaks to Trump, warns over N Korea escalation

AFP , Saturday 12 Aug 2017
Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron giving a speech during the Western Balkans summit in Piazza Unita d'Italia in Trieste, northern Italy July 12, 2017 AFP
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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.

Macron also spoke by phone with US President Donald Trump with the aim of "getting North Korea to conform to its international obligations," his Elysee office said.

"The two presidents agreed to remain in contact over the coming days," it added.

In a statement, the 39-year-old voiced his "concern at the ballistic and nuclear threat coming from North Korea", saying world leaders needed to work to get Pyongyang to "resume the path of dialogue without conditions".

Macron had joined a chorus of international voices urging restraint in the crisis, which has alarmed the global community as Trump has engaged in days of verbal sparring with Pyongyang.

France and other UN Security Council members want North Korea to "proceed with the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear and ballistic programmes," Macron said in the statement.

He also assured "France's allies and partners in the region of our solidarity in the current period".

Xi Jinping, the leader of North Korea's key ally China, urged Trump on Saturday to avoid rhetoric that could inflame tensions, after the US leader ramped up his warnings to Pyongyang, saying the Stalinist regime would "truly regret" taking hostile action against the United States.

Trump's warning came after the North threatened to fire ballistic missiles over Japan towards the US Pacific island of Guam.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Xi urged Trump to avoid "words and deeds" that would "exacerbate" the already-tense situation and to exercise restraint and seek a political settlement.

Earlier this week, France had praised Trump's "determination" in standing up to Pyongyang.

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