China's foreign ministry on Friday expressed "deep concern" about soaring tensions on the Korean Peninsula, after North Korea fired artillery shells into the southern side of the demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas.
The Thursday artillery fire by North Korea was apparently in response to propaganda broadcasts by South Korea, but Seoul fired back. North Korea ordered its troops to put on "a quasi-state of war."
Voicing "deep concern" about the development on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying called for "all parties concerned to stop any actions that could escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula."
Hua made the remarks in a statement posted on the Chinese ministry's website on late Friday.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye ordered the country's military to "resolutely" deal with any further provocations from North Korea.
In Beijing on Friday, the North Korean ambassador to China, Ji Jae-ryong, held a press conference and reportedly retaliated the North's warning that it would go ahead with an unspecified military action against South Korea unless Seoul stops the propaganda broadcasts by Saturday afternoon.
Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, also expressed concerns about the development on the Korean Peninsula.
"At a time when efforts by the government of South Korean President Park Geun-hye have made little progress, the antagonism against Park appears to be increasing," Shi said. (Yonhap)