Obama asks North Korea to cool down

US President Barack Obama has called on North Korea to stop its belligerent saber-rattling and "lower temperatures", saying no one had an interest in conflict on the Korean peninsula.

“Now is the time for North Korea to end the belligerent approach they‘ve been taking, and lower temperatures,” Obama told reporters after meeting UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at the White House.

Obama, who has said relatively little in public about tensions with North Korea in recent weeks, insisted that “no one wants to see a conflict on the Korean peninsula”.

The US would continue to use diplomacy to try to resolve the crisis, he said, adding the US will take all necessary steps to protect its people and to meet our obligations under our alliances in the region.”

The UN leader, who was born in Korea prior to the war that resulted in division of the peninsula and who grew up in US-allied South Korea, said he was “deeply concerned” by rising tensions between the north and south.

He called on Pyongyang to “not confront the international community as it does.” He also commended Obama for his “firm, principled but measured” response to the Korean crisis.

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