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Beijing expresses 'firm opposition' to nuke test

By Zhang Yunbi  (China Daily)

10:00, February 13, 2013

China said it strongly opposes Pyongyang's third nuclear test conducted on Tuesday, and observers are calling for calm and restrain among all parties to avoid aggravating an already tense situation.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea said on Tuesday it has successfully conducted the third underground nuclear test, according to the official KCNA news agency. The test was carried out in Kilju County of North Hamkyung Province, and was done in a "safe and perfect" way with a smaller A-bomb unlike previous ones, the KCNA said.

The test site is about 100 km from the China-DPRK border.

A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the nuclear test was conducted "in disregard of the common opposition of the international community", and "the Chinese government is firmly opposed to this act".

"We strongly urge the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization and refrain from any move that may further worsen the situation," it said.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Tuesday also summoned the DPRK ambassador to China, Ji Jae-ryong. He urged Pyongyang to return to the track of dialogue and negotiation.

A commentary by China's official news agency Xinhua said it has come to a point for parties concerned to act rationally to create favorable conditions to revive long-stalled Six-Party Talks and "avoid a disastrous fallout".

Yu Meihua, director of the Center for Korean Peninsula Peace Studies under the China Reform Forum, said the situation has come to a critical point, and a strong recipe is needed to deal with both the "symptoms and root causes" of the issue.

"The parties involved should persist in effort to promote denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and Pyongyang's concerns on security should be considered," Yu said.

Pyongyang conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. Both tests were denounced by UN Security Council resolutions.

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