China is increasingly concerned about nuclear threats and is becoming frustrated with North Korea, its traditional ally.
North Korea’s vice-foreign minister told the BBC that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles and would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if it thought the US was planning an attack.
“If the US is planning a military attack against us, we will react with a nuclear pre-emptive strike by our own style and method,” Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC on April 17.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China opposed words or actions that could further raise tension.
As reported by the BBC, there has been heated rhetoric from both sides in recent days. US Vice-President Mike Pence, who has been visiting the region, warned the North not to test Washington and said the US “era of strategic patience” with Pyongyang was over.
The BBC’s Stephen McDonell in Beijing says the Chinese government appears to be becoming increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its traditional ally.