BOAO, China — In an indirect but clear reference to the North Korean crisis, Chinese president Xi Jinping said Sunday that no country should be allowed to threaten world peace.
“No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain,’’ Xi said in a speech at an annual regional business forum in Boao. Xi did not name any countries or disputes, but in separate remarks, China’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday repeated its ‘‘grave concern’’ over the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Also Sunday, the South Korean government warned that North Korea might carry out a provocation this week, possibly a missile test, as a way to extract concessions from the United States and South Korea.
South Korea also said its top military officer put off a visit to Washington because of tensions with North Korea. General Jung Seung Jo, chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, had planned an April 16 meeting with his US counterpart, General Martin Dempsey, for regular talks.
As North Korea’s major ally, China has been discomfited by the behavior of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, but it has refrained from making pronouncements that would signal what, if anything, it planned to do to curb Pyongyang.
The Obama administration, in response to North Korea’s threats to fire missiles at the United States, has said that it will strengthen its missile defenses, and has sent jet fighters, bombers, and warships to the area in a show of support for South Korea.
Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that he does not foresee North Korea taking military action soon, “but I can’t take the chance that it won't.’’
Dempsey said there is a risk of action by North Korea on one of two nationally important anniversaries in April, the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and creation of the North Korean army.
The Pentagon has delayed a missile test planned for this week at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the Associated Press reported, citing a senior defense official. The official said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to put off the Minuteman 3 test because of concerns it could exacerbate the Korean crisis.