The United States and North Korea are racing towards a catastrophic “head-on collision”, China’s foreign minister has warned, amid Chinese fury at America’s deployment of a controversial anti-missile system. Speaking in Beijing on Wednesday, Wang Yi said a “looming crisis” was brewing on the Korean peninsular.
Wang scolded Pyongyang for ignoring international opposition to its nuclear and missile programs but also accused the US of stoking regional tensions by holding “military exercises of enormous scale” with South Korea.
“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other with neither side willing to give way. The question is: are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?” Wang told reporters, painting China as a signalman attempting avert the disaster.
Wang was speaking after the US angered Beijing by announcing it had begun delivering its controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea on Monday night.
The deployment came one day after North Korea launched four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan in what its state media called a bid to “mercilessly retaliate against the warmongers” in Washington and Seoul. US president Donald Trump, who has accused China of not doing enough to rein in North Korea, responded by warning that Pyongyang’s threat had entered a “new phase”. China, however, views the THAAD project as part of a broader US attempt to stifle its rise.