South Korean officials point to the screen to show seismic waves from North Korea at the Korea Meteorological Administration center on Jan. 6, 2016, in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo : Getty Images)
China issued a blunt warning to North Korea on Wednesday, telling its longtime ally not to conduct nuclear weapons or missile tests or potentially face military action from the U.S.
"Not only [is] Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises," said the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party.
North Korea should halt any plans for nuclear and missile tests "for its own security," the paper said, adding that the United States is not planning to "co-exist" with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
North Korean state media cautioned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of aggression, as a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group steamed toward the Korean Peninsula--a force U.S. President Trump described as an "armada."
Trump, who has pressured China to do more to rein in its belligerent neighbor, said in a tweet that North Korea was "looking for trouble" and that the U.S. will "solve the problem" with or without help from Beijing.
"Pyongyang should avoid making mistakes at this time," the People's Daily said.
The Korean Peninsula has never been so close to a "military clash" since North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, according to an editorial from the Global Times, another paper operated by the Communist Party.
"China will not remain indifferent to Pyongyang's aggravating violation of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC)," the paper said.
China has signed on to United Nations sanctions against North Korea but has repeatedly called for a return to dialogue to defuse tensions in the region.
A military parade is expected in Pyongyang on Saturday to commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-Sung, North Korea's founding father and the grandfather of its current ruler, Kim Jong-Il. North Korea often marks important anniversaries with tests of its nuclear or missile capabilities.
American officials have previously stressed that tougher sanctions are the most likely course for the U.S. to take against North Korea's nuclear ambitions, although Washington has said military options are also on the table.