China warned Washington and Seoul against "provoking confrontation" with North Korea on Thursday, after President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart said Pyongyang would face the "end" of its leadership if it uses its nuclear arsenal.
"All parties should face up to the crux of the (Korean) peninsula issue and play a constructive role in promoting a peaceful settlement of the issue," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said.
She urged against "deliberately stirring up tensions, provoking confrontation and playing up threats".
At a summit in Washington, Biden and Yoon Suk Yeol made clear that if the isolated dictatorship in North Korea attacked the South or the United States, the response would be devastating.
The two sides also agreed that the US security shield for South Korea would be strengthened in the face of the nuclear-armed North's missile tests.
Beijing condemned that decision Thursday, saying Washington "ignores regional security and insists on exploiting the peninsula issue to create tension."
"What the US is doing ... provokes confrontation between camps, undermines the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the strategic interests of other countries," Mao said.
US moves, she added, "aggravate tensions on the peninsula, undermine regional peace and stability, and run counter to the goal of denuclearization on the peninsula."