Text size

North Korea must face "some punitive actions" for testing a nuclear device, China's UN ambassador said Tuesday, suggesting that Beijing may be willing to impose some form of Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang.

China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters that the council must give a "firm, constructive, appropriate but prudent response" to North Korea.

"I think there has to be some punitive actions but also I think these actions have to be appropriate," he said.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that North Korea had disregarded the international community and that China was opposed to its behavior.

The spokesman said, however, that taking military action against North Korea was "unreasonable," adding that China preferred to try to stop its nuclear powers through "positive measures" and without sanctions.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia's Defense Minister called North Korea's nuclear testing "a colossal blow" to the non-proliferation regime, but warned that a United Nations resolution on the matter must not include use of violence.