North Korea threatens China with ‘grave consequences’

China has apparently raised the hackles of North Korean officials by siding with the United States in calling for the North to stop testing nuclear weapons. Korean officials used the communist country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency to claim on Wednesday that “a string of absurd and reckless remarks are now heard from China every day, only to render the present bad situation tenser.”

“China should no longer try to test the limits of the DPRK’s patience,” the North Korean commentary warned, adding, “China had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the DPRK-China relations.”

The North Koreans were responding to an article which appeared in China’s state-backed Global Times claiming that the North’s actions threatened a 1961 treaty of non-aggression between both countries. It said, “China will not allow its northeastern region to be contaminated by North Korea’s nuclear activities.”

Other warnings have been made by the paper recently, noting that China is capable of striking back “at any side that crosses the red line” and could also impose an oil embargo in the event of more testing. However, the North Koreans say that it’s the Chinese who are crossing the line.

China has been North Korea’s only real ally in the region, but they’ve recently complied with U.N. sanctions by suspending imports of North Korean coal and trying to persuade Pyongyang to stop nuclear and missile activities.

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