President Erdoğan voices concern over US, North Korea tension


Turkish President Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul that Turkey hopes the threats between U.S. and North Korea will not turn into a clash.

Turkey hopes the rising tension between U.S. and North Korea will not lead to nuclear clash, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday.

Tension between Washington and Pyongyang has escalated recently.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" if Pyongyang's authoritarian regime threatened his country.

North Korea's state-run KCNA news agency cited officials Thursday claiming that America's regional military strategy and sanctions risked inviting "a shameful defeat and final doom".

Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Erdoğan said: "We hope the threats between U.S. and North Korea will not turn into a clash.

"This [tension] may not be limited to just the two of them," he said, warning the situation could eventually trigger a "different" threat.

"I hope the issue can be resolved politically," he added.

While Seoul has insisted the door to inter-Korean dialogue remains open, Trump maintained Thursday that Pyongyang should be "very, very nervous" if it even thinks of attacking the U.S. or its allies, including South Korea. North Korea, meanwhile, says its missiles could reach Guam, the U.S. island in the Western Pacific.

About the latest situation along Turkey's southern border at the Bab al-Hawa crossing with Syria, Erdoğan said the Cilvegozu border crossing in Hatay province would be kept open for humanitarian aid, including food, medicine and clothes but weapons would not be allowed.

On Thursday, Customs Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said Turkey would limit cross-border movement at Bab al-Hawa crossing into Idlib since the Syrian side was under controlled of a "terrorist organization".

Erdoğan also signaled a quick "solution" in northern Syria's Idlib province, where Hayat Tahrir Al Sham armed group -- a former al Qaeda affiliate -- has taken control last month. The president said Turkey was continuing its meetings with Russia and Iran on the issue.

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