China condemned North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan today and appealed for restraint to avoid inflaming tensions in the region. “The Chinese side opposes the DPRK’s violation of the resolution of the (UN) Security Council, and its use of ballistic missile technology for launch activities,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing. “The concerned parties should exercise restraint. They should not take any further action that could aggravate the situation on the peninsula and in the region,” Hua said.
The launch, from near Pyongyang, came after the United Nations Security Council imposed an eighth set of measures on the isolated country following its sixth nuclear test earlier this month. It was by far its largest nuclear test to date and Pyongyang said it was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile.
In New York, the Security Council called an emergency meeting for later Friday. The United States, meanwhile, called on China and Russia to take “direct actions” to rein in North Korea. “China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement. “China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.” Asked at the briefing if Beijing would change its approach, Hua said China will “continue to comprehensively and completely implement the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.”