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Spiraling tensions highlight urgency of peaceful solution

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-07 07:24

Less than a week after Pyongyang test-fired a new ballistic missile presumed capable of reaching the United States, and two days after the US and the Republic of Korea launched their biggest-ever joint air exercise, the fact that a senior United Nations official was in Pyongyang for discussions with a leading official of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea raises hopes that diplomacy can still defuse the Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis.

What Jeffrey Feltman, UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, and DPRK Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Myong Guk talked about on Wednesday remains unclear. But it is to be hoped that the UN envoy at least helped forestall a final showdown on the peninsula, even if he cannot talk total sense into the DPRK leadership.

The odds on a full-scale war breaking out on the peninsula have never been higher, with the US warning the regime in Pyongyang will "be utterly destroyed", and the DPRK countering by saying that Washington is "begging for nuclear war". Any misjudgment or miscalculation threatens to turn this war of words into hostilities that would put the lives of millions of people in peril.

Spiraling tensions highlight urgency of peaceful solution

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