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North Korea tested a nuclear bomb on China’s doorstep, and China is not pleased

By May Shi & Echo Huang

When North Korea tested out what it claims was a hydrogen bomb on Wednesday morning, people in Chinese cities near the North Korean border felt the impact almost immediately.

Sina Weibo user 杨小虎木有刀
A playground in a school in Yanji, Jilin province.

In Yanji, a 430,000 person trade hub between the two countries, desks and tables swayed and people were evacuated from buildings, CCTV news reported (link in Chinese). The playground of a high school cracked, an exam was halted, and students were evacuated (links in Chinese).

The impact was also felt in other cities in the eastern Jilin province, which shares a long border with North Korea.

According to the information provided by China’s earthquake network, the earthquake happened at (link in Chinese) 41.3°N 129.10°E, which is around 100 kilometers from the China-North Korea border.

Google Earth

Soon after the test, China’s foreign ministry said it “firmly opposes” Pyongyang’s nuclear test (link in Chinese). China had no knowledge of the test beforehand, the foreign ministry said.

The reaction from angry Chinese netizens has been fierce. Some expressed their concern and anger under an article posted by the state-backed Global Times (link in Chinese, registeration required). A Weibo user named “seeking seeking where Wu,” said:

Indeed, we should cherish the historic relationship between China and North Korea, but should we also re-evaluate the diplomatic relationship now? Kim Jong-un does not keep his promises. He burns fire at the front door, it’s a matter of time before the fire reaches the three provinces in northeast China.

Under a news on the Sina Military Weibo account  (link in Chinese, registration required), another Weibo user wrote: “I think one day Kim Jong-un will start World War Three.”

And a Sina Weibo user located in Yanbian in Jilin province said he now thinks it is “too dangerous” to be a neighbor to North Korea.

The nuclear test, whether it was a hydrogen bomb or not, it expected to have a chilling effect on relations between North Korea and China. China is the isolated dictatorship’s only real global ally and its largest foreign trading partner, and supplies much of its foreign aid.