Seoul — Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that "cavalier" threats to start war on the Korean peninsula were "dangerous and short-sighted", urging the US to get all parties to the negotiating table.
She also called on China to take a "more outfront role" in enforcing North Korea sanctions aimed at curbing its missile and nuclear development.
"There is no need for us to be bellicose and aggressive [over North Korea]," Clinton told the World Knowledge Forum in the South Korean capital of Seoul, stressing the need for more pressure and diplomacy to bring Pyongyang to talks.
Tension between Pyongyang and Washington has soared following weapons tests by North Korea and a string of bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
"Picking fights with Kim Jong-un puts a smile on his face," Clinton said, without mentioning Trump by name.
She also indirectly referred to Trump’s social media comments on North Korea.
"The insults on Twitter have benefited North Korea, I don’t think they’ve benefited the US".
The war of words has seen Trump call the North Korean leader "little rocket man" on a suicide mission and vow to destroy the country if it threatens the US or its allies.
In turn, North Korea called Trump "mentally deranged" and a "mad dog".
On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said the US did not rule out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea.
In Seoul, Vice-Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam said on Wednesday South Korea was considering levying its own sanctions on the North, although no decision has been made yet.
North Korea’s relationship with its main ally and trading partner China has been strained by its rapid pursuit of the weapons programmes.
China President Xi Jinping did not mention North Korea in his more than three-hour-long address at the opening of a key Communist Party Congress on Wednesday.