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China on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea's sixth nuclear test and asked the reclusive nation to "cease" its "incorrect actions" and return to the dialogue table for denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea claimed on Sunday that it successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb meant to be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). It is the rogue nation's sixth, and most powerful, nuclear test.
China, North Korea's main diplomatic ally, criticised the country for ignoring international condemnation of its atomic weapons programme.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has once again conducted a nuclear test in spite of widespread opposition from the international community. The Chinese government resolutely opposes and strongly condemns it."
It said that China's firm stance, as well as the common goal of the international community, was achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula, protecting the nuclear non-proliferation mechanism and maintaining peace and stability in northeast Asia.
It asked North Korea "to seriously consider" the steadfast will of the international community on a denuclearised Korean Peninsula and to comply with the UN Security Council resolutions.
China also asked North Korea to "cease incorrect actions that worsen tensions and run against its own interests, and return to dialogue to resolve the problem".