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China firmly opposes DPRK's nuclear test

China "firmly opposes" the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to a statement on Wednesday from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The ministry made the statement after the DPRK announced Wednesday that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test.

"China is steadfast in its position that the Korean Peninsula should be denuclearized and nuclear proliferation should be prevented to maintain peace and stability in Northeast Asia," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced at a press briefing.

"We strongly urge the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization, and to cease any action that may deteriorate the situation," Hua said.

Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia meet the common interests of all concerned, Hua said, quoting the statement.

China is determined to advance denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and settle the nuclear issue through six-party talks, she said.

"The first H-bomb test was successfully conducted in the DPRK at 10:00 (0130 GMT) on Wednesday," DPRK's state-owned media KCNA said.

China knew nothing about the test before the DPRK announced that it had done so, Hua said when asked if China had been informed ahead of time.

China's Environmental Protection Ministry is evaluating the impact of the test and analyzing the radiation data collected along the border. It will take all necessary measures to protect Chinese people's lives and property safety, Hua said.

"The radiation level is normal so far," Hua said.

Hua said "experts are stepping up analysis," when asked if China is able to confirm whether it was a hydrogen bomb.

Later on Wednesday evening, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is "firmly committed to upholding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime," while addressing the ministry's annual New Year Reception for foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations.

"With respect to yet another nuclear test conducted by the DPRK today in disregard of international opposition, the Chinese government has made its stern position clear in its Foreign Ministry statement," Wang added.

The DPRK's previous nuclear tests occurred in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 06Jan16]

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