China's Foreign Ministry has expressed what it called "grave concern and opposition" to North Korea's latest missile launch in an unusual rebuke of its neighbor and ally.
Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the country hoped "all parties would act cautiously to preserve peace and stability," Reuters reported on Wednesday morning.
The ministry's spokesman added that China would continue to uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and would work for "settlement on the North Korea nuclear issue."
The public comments come after the isolated Communist state of North Korea launched yet another intercontinental ballistic missile, which it claimed was capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. The missile, the Hwasong-15, was ordered by leader Kim Jong Un and is the country's the most powerful missile so far, according to a state televised broadcast.
There are widespread fears that North Korea is in the latter stages of developing nuclear warheads that could be attached to its ballistic missiles and aimed at the U.S. and its allies.
Although North Korea claims to have already developed and successfully tested such weapons, it's hard to independently verify what stage of the process the regime has reached as the regime is so closed and secretive.