China to North Korea: Don't You Dare Test That Nuke

Beijing is suddenly worried about environmental damage
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2012 7:11 AM CDT
China to North Korea: Don't You Dare Test That Nuke
This April 18, 2012 file satellite image appears to show a train of mining carts, at the lower center of the frame, and other preparations underway at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site.   (AP Photo/GeoEye, File)

Someone get Alanis Morissette on the phone: China is suddenly hot and bothered about the environment. Yes, Beijing is urging annoying little brother North Korea not to go through with its third nuclear test, because it's worried about damaging the Changbai Mountain region, particularly radiation that might leak out, sources tell Reuters. "China is unhappy," one source says. "The impact on China's northeast would be huge."

So far, these warnings have come entirely behind closed doors, and while China is considering retaliatory action if Pyongyang defies it, a source said it would be a token gesture that wouldn't affect the all-important food aid China provides. "China can't stop food aid," one diplomat said. "If that stops, it would endanger the regime." If North Korea has an ally it's China, but Beijing has publicly decried both its previous nuclear tests, and is expected to back another UN sanctioning resolution. (More China stories.)

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