China Calls for 'Restraint' After North Korea Weapons Claim

China Calls for 'Restraint' After North Korea Weapons Claim

File photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping (Reuters).

Beijing: China called for restraint Thursday after North Korea claimed to have developed the ability to deliver miniaturised warheads on high-precision long range rockets.

"China urges parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid provoking each other, (and) do more to ease tension," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.

Pyongyang has been flexing its military muscle of late, but its claims Wednesday that it could miniaturise nuclear warheads were dismissed by the United States.

Beijing is Pyongyang's main ally, but its patience has been tried by the North's antics in recent years, and Kim Jong-Un, the leader of the alienated state, has yet to visit China three years after coming to power.

China regularly calls for the resumption of negotiations known as the six-party talks, which began in 2003 and consist of five countries -- China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States -- trying to convince North Korea to drop its atomic development in exchange for aid and other incentives.

Pyongyang walked out of the process in 2009, three years after carrying out its first nuclear test, and has subsequently detonated two more devices underground.

Hong Thursday repeated calls to resume the talks, adding: "China consistently stands for denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, peace and stability of the peninsula, and settlement of relevant issues through dialogue and consultation."