North Korea will cross the point of no return if it carries out another nuclear test, the official Chinese newspaper Global Times, controlled by the ruling Communist Party, warns.
In an editorial, the paper warned Pyongyang of serious consequences if it acts on its latest provocations, following tensions between Kim Jong-un’s regime and the US, which is threatening to launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korean nuclear advances.
The Times encouraged their neighbour to take a step back, advising that “if North Korea carries out a sixth nuclear test as expected, it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return”.
According to the daily, “all parties would bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses”.
The warning comes a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to President Donald Trump by phone, urging the US to exercise caution.
The Times, known for its nationalist editorials, warned the North Korean regime of unprecedented sanctions imposed by the UN and of attacks by Washington on its military and nuclear facilities, which would force “the Pyongyang regime (…) to make a life-or-death decision”.
“As a close neighbour to the Korean Peninsula, the last thing China wants is to see North Korea fall into such a predicament or an outbreak of war in the region. However, China has very limited influence on the entire situation,” it added.
“Washington hopes that Beijing can contain Pyongyang (…) as though this were as easy as saying ‘abracadabra’. North Korea, on the other hand, hopes China will pile more pressure on the US and South Korea to stop their threats of war. Beijing cannot possibly satisfy both sides.”
Beijing has thus advised the North Korean regime to be flexible, and has praised the nation’s independent development after the Korean war, in a veiled criticism of South Korea’s close co-operation with the US.
“Taking a small step back will make the conflict easier to solve. This does not mean being a coward, but being courageous enough to face the challenge in a different way,” the editorial said.