Time for de-escalation, lowering tensions over Korean Peninsula: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 11 -- U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, continuing to be concerned over Korean Peninsula rhetoric, said on Friday it was time to lower tensions after a week of heightening escalation.

"This is clearly a time for all the parties to focus on how to deescalate and lower the tensions," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, told reporters at the UN Headquarters Friday.

Tensions rose quickly over the past week in equally belligerent statements from Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Asked if the secretary-general had spoken "directly to the United States or North Korea," Dujarric only said that "I have no contacts that I am able to share with you at this point."

"I think the secretary-general has spoken out through this podium about his concern about the level of the rhetoric, the escalation of the rhetoric, and the need on how to de-escalate the tension," the spokesman said.

"The roadmap for the role of the United Nations is the Security Council resolution which the secretary-general has welcomed," Dujarric said, referring to the measure unanimously approved last Saturday calling for an end to missile test launches.

"The secretary-general has condemned clearly the various launches of missiles and other things out of the DPRK, but the focus for us needs to be on diplomacy and de-escalation," the spokesman said.

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