Posted August. 22, 2015 07:16,
The international community strongly criticized North Korea for escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula by declaring a "quasi-state of war" following an artillery provocation.
"North Korea should exercise self-restraint in making provocative acts," Japan`s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news briefing, adding that Tokyo is "closely cooperating" with the United States and South Korea and gathering information on the development.
The United Nations also said it is closely following tensions between South and North Korea with "with serious concern." Eri Kaneko, associate spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said at a news briefing, "What we can say, on the exchange of artillery fire that we saw reports of today, is that we are closely following the developments with serious concern." She said she would disclose the U.N.`s position again depending on how the situation unfolds. At the U.N., the possibility of putting the North`s recent series of military provocations on the Security Council`s agenda is being discussed.
By contrast, China and Russia urged both Pyongyang and Seoul to exercise self-restraint, while avoiding criticizing the North`s artillery provocation. Qiu Guohong, the Chinese ambassador to South Korea, said during a lecture at a local business forum on Friday that his country was opposed to any unilateral provocation, expressing hope that Seoul and Pyongyang resolve their disputes through dialogue. Beijing has yet to express its official reaction to the North`s artillery provocation.
In a statement issued Thursday, Russia`s foreign ministry expressed concerns over the two Koreas` exchange of artillery firings across the Military Demarcation Line, urging "all interested parties" to refrain from acts that could aggravate the situation.