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Chinese media tells N. Korea to 'abandon illusions' about nuclear weapons

   BEIJING (Yonhap) -- China's state-run newspaper called on North Korea Thursday to "abandon illusions" about its defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons, warning that a fresh nuclear test would only deepen isolation.

   The Global Times published the editorial days after North Korea threatened to carry out a "new form" of nuclear test, more than a year after its third nuclear test heightened tension and strained ties with its key ally China.

   In unusually harsh language, the newspaper said North Korea would face more "international isolation, poverty and risks of danger in the Pyongyang regime if North Korea sticks to a nuclear test."

   The newspaper said North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship is aimed at attracting the attention of the United States, but that such tactics will not work anymore, describing the North's nuclear saber-rattling as "nuclear blackmail."

   "Although there is a nuclear deterrence in the world, but there is no nuclear blackmail," the editorial said.

   "The U.S. will not allow North Korea to develop a missile that can hit the continental U.S.," it said. "If that day comes, the U.S. will take measures against North Korea."

   On Sunday, the communist North vowed not to rule out a "new form" of nuclear test after the U.N. Security Council condemned its latest missile launches amid ongoing joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises.

   Tension on the divided Korean Peninsula has risen significantly this week after North Korea conducted a live-fire drill near the tense Yellow Sea border. About one hundred North Korean artillery shells fell in South Korean waters, prompting the South to return fire.

   North Korea did not elaborate but outside experts suspect that the "new form" of nuclear test may be based on enriched uranium.

The North has so far conducted three nuclear tests widely believed to be based on plutonium.

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