China warns U.S. not to antagonize North Korea

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Pentagon plans to bolster missile defenses

Published March 18, 2013 8:59PM (EDT)

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday said U.S. plans to bolster missile defenses in Alaska could serve to further antagonisms with North Korea. Late last week Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to add more interceptors in response to North Korea's increasing number of threats to launch attacks against to U.S. and South Korea. Via Reuters:

China said on Monday U.S. plans to bolster missile defenses in response to provocations by North Korea would only intensify antagonism, and urged Washington to act prudently.

"The anti-missile issue has a direct bearing on global and regional balance and stability. It also concerns mutual strategic interests between countries," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing...

"Actions such as strengthening anti-missile (defenses) will intensify antagonism and will not be beneficial to finding a solution for the problem," Hong said.

"China hopes the relevant country will proceed on the basis of peace and stability, adopt a responsible attitude and act prudently."

Meanwhile, the U.S. is flying nuclear-capable B-52 bombers on training missions over South Korea to highlight Washington's commitment to defend an ally amid rising tensions with North Korea, Pentagon officials said Monday.

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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China Chuck Hagel North Korea Pyongyang South Korea