China said it opposes the North Korean nuclear test, but refrained from any harsh language in its statement issued late Monday. Meanwhile, the visiting head of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations committee said the North Korean nuclear test is a reckless act that further isolates the Asian nation.
The Chinese government issued a statement saying it resolutely opposes North Korea's nuclear test. The statement voiced a "strong demand" that Pyongyang live up to its commitment to a non-nuclear Korean peninsula and refrain from taking any actions that could worsen the situation.
The Chinese statement also called for a "calm response" from all parties concerned and expressed hope the issue would be resolved through dialogue and consultation.
Speaking at a hastily-arranged news conference at his Beijing hotel, U.S. Senator John Kerry echoed the Chinese in urging calmness. But, he had harsher words to describe the North Korean nuclear test.
"This step by North Korea is reckless, irresponsible. But it really represents a kind of stubborn persistence by North Korea to try to attract international attention," he said.
Kerry told reporters the United States has shown that it is ready to pursue diplomatic channels to resolve disputes, with countries like Iran or North Korea.
He called Pyongyang's latest action "silly" and said it is likely to hamper international negotiations with North Korea.
"I do not think you reward it [nuke test] by immediately going back to the table and having talks. I think North Korea is going to have to indicate some better willingness of how it intends to proceed in order to get immediately back to talks," Kerry said.
The Senate Foreign Relations committee chairman said North Korea, Iran and nuclear proliferation were some of the issues he already was planning to discuss with Chinese officials this week in Beijing.
But he urged Beijing to do more. Kerry pointed out that, as an immediate neighbor of North Korea, China has the ability to have what he called a "major impact" in the region.