French leader urges calm in North Korea crisis

Image Brigitte Macron

Image Brigitte Macron

US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart pledged in a phone call Saturday to work to denuclearize North Korea, but Trump again spoke of possible "military measures" if other steps fail.

"They discussed the need to confront the increasingly risky situation associated with North Korea's destabilising and escalatory behaviour", the White House said in a statement on Saturday.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on all sides in the North Korean nuclear crisis to act responsibly "to prevent any escalation of tensions" after a days-long war of words between Washington and Pyongyang. "President Trump stated that the United States is ready, along with its allies, to apply the full range of diplomatic, economic, and military measures to achieve that goal", said a readout of the phone call.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Xi urged Trump to avoid "words and deeds" that would "exacerbate" the already-tense situation, exercise restraint and seek a political settlement.

They agreed that North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour, the White House said.

The two leaders also reiterated a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It said the relationship between the two Presidents is an extremely close one, and will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem.

Trump's warning came after the North threatened to fire ballistic missiles over Japan towards the US Pacific island of Guam.