World Bulletin / News Desk
After days of counter threats from South Korea and the United States, North Korea came under China's glare Saturday.
While Beijing's Foreign Minister Wang Yi did not mention the North by name, he issued a warning that appeared to be very much directed towards Pyongyang.
"Any intention or attempt to disrupt peace of the Korean Peninsula and security in Northeast Asia is unjustified and undesirable," Wang said at a forum in the Chinese capital, where representation from North Korea was conspicuous by its absence.
The gathering was being held in honor of the 10th anniversary of a North Korean denuclearization agreement -- although earlier this week Pyongyang declared that its main nuclear complex was back up and running.
The North also reemphasized via its official KCNA news agency Friday its "sovereign right" to launch satellites.
Multiple United Nations resolutions ban North Korea from carrying out long-range rocket launches and nuclear tests.
But analysts have been forecasting a major provocation by the North to mark 70 years since the foundation of the authoritarian state's Workers' Party on Oct. 10.
As a long-standing ally and economic partner of Pyongyang, Beijing has been seen as a vital player in regional diplomatic efforts to rein in North Korea -- and the Chinese foreign minister made it clear that the North would be expected to behave.
"Denuclearization is essential to the situation of the Korean Peninsula," Wang said. "We have a shared responsibility to uphold peace and security on the peninsula and implement U.N. Security Council resolutions."
China fought on North Korea's side during the 1950-53 Korean War, but Beijing has been determined to act as a peacemaker given the presence of nearly 30,000 American military personnel in the South.
Wang insisted that "conflict on the peninsula is good for no one."
The situation is expected to feature on the agenda when Chinese President Xi Jinping holds talks with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama next week.