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October 10, 2006 -- North Korea's closest ally, China, has declined to state if it supports or opposes sanctions against Pyongyang.
On October 9, the United States circulated a draft resolution at the UN Security Council that would strengthen already existing weapons-related sanctions on North Korea. The council earlier condemned Pyongyang's claim to have tested a nuclear weapon underground.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman today said the reported nuclear test will damage ties between the two countries, although Beijing intended to maintain its friendly policy toward Pyongyang.
Liu Jianchao also said Beijing was taking active steps to encourage Pyongyang to return to six-party talks on ending its nuclear program.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)