China "firmly" opposes the latest nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), according to a statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
"On Feb. 12, 2013, the DPRK conducted another nuclear test in disregard of the common opposition of the international community, " said the statement, adding that "the Chinese government is firmly opposed to this act."
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also summoned DPRK ambassador to China Ji Jae Ryong later on Tuesday to lodge a solemn representation.
Yang said China was "strongly dissatisfied with" and "firmly opposed to" DPRK's third nuclear test, according to a press release issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The press release quoted Yang as saying, "China always supports the denuclearization on the (Korean) Peninsula in an aim to safeguard the peace and stability of the peninsula," and that China will still work to address the concerns of all the involved parties under the framework of the Six-Party talks through dialogue and consultation in a balanced way.
Yang also urged the DPRK to refrain from any words and actions that may further worsen the situation and return to the right track of dialogue and consultation at an early date.
The DPRK's official KCNA news agency has confirmed the nuclear test took place.
"The scientific field for national defence of the DPRK succeeded in the third underground nuclear test at the site for underground nuclear test in the northern part of the DPRK on Tuesday," said the news agency.
Pyongyang has already conducted similar nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
The Foreign Ministry said in the statement that it is the firm stand of the Chinese side to bring about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, prevent nuclear proliferation and safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
"We strongly urge the DPRK to honor its commitment to denuclearization and refrain from any move that may further worsen the situation. To safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia serves the common interests of all parties," said the statement.
It added, "The Chinese government calls on all parties to respond in a cool-headed manner and persist in resolving the issue of denuclearization of the Peninsula through dialogue and consultation within the context of the Six-Party Talks."
The six-party talks, a negotiation mechanism that includes the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia, were launched in 2003 but stalled in December 2008. The DPRK quit the talks in April 2009.