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China urges US and N. Korea to avert ‘head-on collision’

BEIJING -UNS/AFP: China warned on Wednesday that North Korea and the United States were like two trains racing towards a “head-on collision,” calling on both sides to apply the brakes and avert a security crisis.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s warning came after a cascade of events that has sent regional tensions soaring, including provocative North Korean missile tests and annual US-South Korean wargames that infuriate Pyongyang.

Beijing itself is particularly concerned over an American missile-defence system being rolled out in South Korea as a shield against the North Korean threat, but which Wang said also “undermines China’s strategic security.”

He called on North Korea to suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the US and South Korea halting the military exercises.

“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way,” Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament session.

“The question is: are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision? Our priority now is to flash the red light and apply the brakes on both trains.”

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