The Straits Times
Published on Feb 06, 2013

China media urge 'heavy price' for N. Korea nuclear test


BEIJING (AFP) - China should exact a "heavy price" from North Korea if it carries out a planned nuclear test, state-run media said on Wednesday, in an unusually strongly-worded call for action by Pyongyang's closest ally.

Beijing, which has stressed calm and restraint as its unpredictable neighbour prepares to conduct its third nuclear test, has tended to avoid punitive measures against it, partly for fear of provoking regional instability.

"If North Korea insists on a third nuclear test despite attempts to dissuade it, it must pay a heavy price. The assistance it will be able to receive from China should be reduced," the Global Times said in an editorial.

"China is never afraid of Pyongyang," it said. "If Pyongyang gets tough with China, China should strike back hard, even at the cost of deteriorating bilateral relations.