What China Is Saying About North Korea’s Nuclear Test

January 6, 2016, 10:15 AM UTC
Kuo Kai-wen, director of Taiwan's Seismology Center, points at the curves chart received from Taiwan showing North Korea's first hydrogen bomb test, in Taipei on January 6, 2016. North Korea said it had carried out a "successful" miniaturised hydrogen bomb test -- a shock announcement that, if confirmed, would massively raise the stakes in the hermit states bid to strengthen its nuclear arsenal. AFP PHOTO / Sam Yeh / AFP / SAM YEH (Photo credit should read SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
SAM YEH AFP/Getty Images

As a close neighbor of North Korea, and one of its only allies, China is keenly interested in the country’s nuclear program. It has worried in the past about the country’s, and leader Kim Jong-un’s, nuclear ambitions.

After North Korea said it had tested a hydrogen bomb Wednesday morning, against international regulations and what experts said was its fourth test since 2006, China condemned the test much like the U.S. will later today.

Today, the Democratic People’s Republic, despite widespread opposition from the international community, conducted another nuclear test. The Chinese government is firmly opposed,” said China’s Foreign Ministry in a statement. “We strongly urge the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization of the peninsula and prevent nuclear proliferation and maintain the peace and stability of northeast Asia.”

Earlier in the day, the state press also condemned the test.

“Any actions which may disturb current peace in Northeast Asia are undesirable and unwise,” the official state news agency Xinhua said this afternoon in an editorial following North Korea’s announcement. “The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in line with the fundamental interests of all parties concerned, is conducive to maintaining regional and world peace and stability. The parties should abandon confrontational thinking (and) quickly return to dialogue to resolve the dispute.”

China had initially joined other experts in questioning the veracity of North Korean claims.

The U.S. is yet to confirm North Korean claims of a successful hydrogen bomb test.

People’s Daily, another state propaganda organ closely followed by Party members, published a report in which the Community Party School’s North Korea expert Zhang Liangui said the international community should enforce even stricter sanctions on the state. “Sanctions against North Korea have not actually been strictly enforced, Zhang said. “North Korea can still get some resources and wealth through various channels.