U.S. looks to China to ease North Korean tension

The United States has looked to China to attempt to influence North Korea as a means of easing tensions that have continued to grow over the last month.

China, North Korea's closest ally, is seen as a potential boon in pacifying North Korea.

"We want the Chinese to use their influence to get the DPRK to stop this behavior and to change course," Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesman for the U.S. Department of state, said, "And so I'm not going to get into the details of what we may discuss, but that's clearly the frame here."

Ventrell warned in a press briefing on Wednesday that North Korea was making preparation to launch a missile.

"We're monitoring the situation closely and closely coordinating with our allies and partners," Ventrell said. "As we've said many times before, a ballistic missile launch would be a clear violation of North Korea's obligations under numerous Security Council resolutions. It would only further isolate North Korea, undermine its goal of economic development.

"So we urge the DPRK to refrain from taking further provocative actions. And of course, we're always taking a range of prudent measures, including on missile defense, to enhance our homeland security and our allied security. So we're fully capable of deterring, defending against, and responding to the threat posed to our allies and to the United States by North Korea."

China has been allies with North Korea since the Korean War, though recent hostilities have loosened their previously close ties.