WASHINGTON – China's president pressed President Trump to show restraint as tensions rise over North Korea's threats to attack Guam, an American territory. The two leaders spoke by telephone Friday night, China's official state news agency CGTN reports.
Xi Jinping is calling on both sides to restrain from further provocations that could escalate the situation.
On Friday, reports surfaced that U.S. has been engaging in back-channel diplomacy with North Korea for months, according to the Associated Press.
That news comes as President Donald Trump continues to double down on his warnings to Pyongyang amid rising tensions in the region.
Reports show the dialogue taking place involves Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the United Nations, citing unidentified U.S. officials and others briefed on the process.
Earlier in the day, President Trump had issued a new warning, tweeting that military solutions are now fully "locked and loaded" if North Korea acts unwisely.
The president also promised this week to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if its dictator makes any more threats to attack the U.S. territory of Guam.
"Let's see what he does with Guam. If he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea," Trump told reporters Thursday at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
"It's not a dare. It's a statement," Trump continued. "He's not going to go around threatening Guam and he's not going to threaten the United States and he's not going to threaten Japan, and he's not going to threaten South Korea."
Trump also responded to concerns that his threat that North Korea could face "fire and fury" was too inflammatory.
"Frankly the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough, maybe it wasn't tough enough," he said.
"He has disrespected our country greatly. He has said things that are horrific. With me he's not getting away with it. He got away with it for a long time between him and his family. He's not getting away with it. It's a whole new ball game."
Trump is not backing down but he's also not saying what's next. He wouldn't discuss his plans on a possible preemptive strike.
"I will tell you this, North Korea better get their act together or they're going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble in this world," he said.
Trump is again making his position clear and while the U.S. is still committed to diplomacy, the world is waiting to see if North Korea follows through on its threat.