U.N. expresses concern at rising tension on Korean Peninsula

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern on Thursday at the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula and he called on all involved parties to calm the matter.

Ban spoke during a joint press conference in Monaco with Michel Roger, the principality's minister of state and chief of government. Ban said the negative inflammatory rhetoric issued by North Korea was the main cause of rising tensions.

"I have been urging repeatedly that nuclear threat is not a game and they should fully abide by the relevant Security Council resolutions," Ban said.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in February, an action that was in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions. The move drew widespread condemnation.

Ban said the current crisis had gone too far on Tuesday after North Korea announced it would restart its Yongbyon nuclear reactor. He said negotiations and dialogue would be the only method of resolving the crisis and he expressed a readiness to help all involved parties negotiate.

"I am concerned that if by any misjudgment, by any miscalculation of the situation, if any unwanted crisis happens on the Korean Peninsula, this will have very serious implications," Ban said.

Ban also said he hoped a recent measure by North Korea to restrict the movement of goods and personnel in and out of the country's Kaesong industrial complex would be lifted as soon as possible. The complex is one of the last remaining symbols of cooperation between North Korea and South Korea.