BEIJING — China strongly condemned North Korea’s Sunday nuclear test, slamming Pyongyang for ignoring international condemnation of its atomic weapons program.
North Korea “has ignored the international community’s widespread opposition, again carrying out a nuclear test. China’s government expresses resolute opposition and strong condemnation toward this,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
“We strongly urge the DPRK (North Korea) to face the strong will of denuclearization from the international community, earnestly abide by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, stop taking mistaken actions which worsen the situation and are also not in line with its own interests, and effectively return to the track of solving the problem through dialogue,” it added.
The test was North Korea’s sixth and far more powerful than any weapon it has previously detonated.
Pyongyang declared the test of what it called a hydrogen bomb to be a “perfect success.”
Beijing is North Korea’s main diplomatic ally and economic supporter and is seen as playing a crucial role in efforts to get Pyongyang to curb its weapons program.
The test came just hours before Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to open a summit of BRICs nations in southern China.
North Korea’s actions create a potentially embarrassing situation for Mr. Xi, who is preparing for a politically sensitive gathering of the ruling Communist Party in October, at which he aims to further consolidate his power.
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told his Japanese counterpart on Sunday that Washington is firmly committed to defending Japan, including with its nuclear deterrent, following North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
Mr. McMaster made the assurance during a telephone call to Shotarou Taniuchi, the director-general of the Japanese National Security Council, according to a government statement.
Under Japan’s alliance treaty with the United States, Washington has pledged to defend Japan. It has put Japan under its nuclear umbrella, meaning it could respond to any attack on Japan with atomic weapons. — AFP and Reuters