U.S. President Barack Obama warned North Korea on Friday against conducting another nuclear test, saying that it would draw a firm international response.
Speaking to South Korean media before landing in Seoul, Obama said "Pyongyang will gain absolutely nothing from another nuclear test except to deepen its own isolation from the international community."
South Korea\’s government has warned that the North appears to be making preparations for another test at its main nuclear test site, an assertion backed up by a U.S.-based research group.
There has been widespread speculation about what type of nuclear device North Korea will detonate this time around. Its first three tests – in 2006, 2009, and 2013 – are believed to have used plutonium.
China is regarded as the nation with the best chance of influencing North Korea\’s behaviour, because of their trade ties.
"We will not allow war and chaos on China\’s doorstep," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday.
"In the meantime, we have consistently and proactively advocated dialogue and negotiation."
More than 300 people were killed or remain missing after the Sewol passenger ferry sank off South Korea, in a tragedy that has shocked the nation.
Most of those who died were teenagers on a school trip.
In Japan, Obama issued a firm statement of support over Tokyo\’s dispute over a separate set of islands with China.
Standing next to the Japanese leader, he confirmed that the US-Japan security treaty did cover the disputed East China Sea island chain – meaning that if Japan were to be attacked, the US would come to its aid.
China said it opposed the US stance.