Seoul: North Korea slammed China for criticising its nuclear weapons programme, saying it will never "beg" for Beijing's friendship, Pyongyang's state-run news agency said on Thursday.
According to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the remark was in response to reports in Beijing's official media that North Korea's nuclear tests pose a threat to China's national interests.
"Those commentaries claimed that North Korea poses a threat to the security in the northeastern region of China, by conducting nuclear tests less than 100 km away from its border with China," Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA report as saying.
"They even talked rubbish that North Korea strains the situation in northeast Asia and offers the US excuses for deploying more strategic assets' in the region."
It noted that the Chinese media called for tightening sanctions against North Korea and offered Pyongyang a choice between protracted isolation and national security and between breaking the friendship and dismantling its nukes if it does not want a confrontation with China.
"One must clearly understand that North Korea's line of access to nukes for the existence and development of the country can neither be changed nor shaken and that Pyongyang will never beg for the maintenance of friendship with China, risking its nuclear programme which is as precious as its own life, no matter how valuable the friendship is," KCNA said.
The commentary also warned China not to test the limit of North Korea's patience.
"China had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the North Korea-China relations," it added.