BEIJING, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- China is refraining from support of tougher sanctions proposed by the United States, but North Korea's recent provocations are headed for "extreme danger," according to state media.
Beijing's Global Times stated in an editorial Saturday that Pyongyang is headed on a path of peril and should the country continue to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal it should not "expect China's protection," Yonhap reported.
The statement not only referred to the North's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6, but also to recent reports the North appeared to be preparing for a long-range rocket sendoff at its Sohae Satellite Launching Station.
"If that is true, [North Korea] is approaching a point of extreme danger," the Chinese paper's statement read, adding Pyongyang's purported development of atomic and hydrogen bombs only further raises the risk "to themselves."
The Beijing media outlet also warned the North of "overrating" its own capabilities, and said Pyongyang shouldn't expect China's protection at the United Nations Security Council, where Beijing is a permanent member.
Earlier on Thursday the Chinese Foreign Ministry had advised Pyongyang against extreme actions that would lead to a vicious cycle of tensions.
Recent satellite imagery, however, is showing North Korea activity at its long-range rocket launch pad in Dongchang-ri has accelerated since December.
The movements at the launch pad were confirmed by sources in Seoul and Tokyo who spoke to press on the condition of anonymity.
On Friday South Korean military and intelligence officials told news outlet CBS No Cut News there is a high likelihood the rocket that the North plans to launch is the KN-08, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 8,000 miles.
The KN-08 was on display last October in Pyongyang during the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party.