Xi urges restraint on N. Korea in phone call with Trump

Donald Trump, Xi Jinping
FILE - In this April 7, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk together after their meetings at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump has praised Xi since hosting him at his Palm Beach, Fla., resort, after sharply criticizing China’s economic policies as a candidate. Since taking office, Trump has displayed a striking willingness to embrace autocrats as potential partners in his “America First” agenda, even if it means ignoring their heavy-handed tactics and repression at home. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

BEIJING (AP) — President Xi Jinping called for restraint when dealing with North Korea during a telephone call with President Donald Trump, Chinese state media reported Monday.

The official broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as telling Trump that China strongly opposed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which are in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and hoped “all parties will exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation” on the Korean Peninsula.

The Trump administration has warned that all options, including a military strike, are “on the table” to halt North Korea’s ambitions of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.

The phone call, which took place Monday morning Beijing time, came amid speculation that Pyongyang could hold a sixth nuclear test this week.

North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying military capability, and South Korean officials say there’s a chance the country will conduct a nuclear test or a major missile launch around the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday.

Trump has pressed Xi to exert greater pressure against North Korea, given China’s status as the country’s sole economic lifeline and major ally. Monday’s call is the second time that the two leaders have spoken by telephone since meeting in Florida earlier this month.

Trump also spoke Monday with and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and they agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from what Abe called provocative actions.