China, North Korea’s most important ally, criticizes its nuclear test

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China is North Korea’s sole major ally and its biggest trading partner, and on Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it strongly opposes the country’s nuclear test conducted earlier in the day.

Hours after artificial seismic activity was detected near its nuclear test site, North Korea confirmed that it detonated a warhead meant to be used on ballistic missiles. In a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry declared that Pyongyang carried out the test with “disregard” for international objections. South Korean President Park Geun-hye had harsher words, condemning North Korea’s actions and saying in a statement the test showed the “fanatic recklessness of the Kim Jong Un government as it clings to a nuclear development.”

This is the fifth nuclear test conducted by North Korea, and the first since January. North Korea’s state television said the test shows the country is ready to defend itself if provoked by enemies, including the U.S. and South Korea, and will continue to strengthen its nuclear arsenal.

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