SEOUL-- North Korea slammed China on Wednesday for criticizing its nuclear weapons program, saying it will never "beg" for the ally's friendship.

In a commentary released by the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang took issue with recent reports in China's official media that the North's nuclear tests pose a threat to its neighbor's national interests.

"Those commentaries claimed that the DPRK poses a threat to 'the security in the northeastern region of China' by conducting nuclear tests less than 100 kilometers away from its border with China," KCNA said in an English dispatch monitored in Seoul, using the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "They even talked rubbish that the DPRK strains the situation in Northeast Asia and 'offers the U.S. excuses for deploying more strategic assets' in the region."

It noted that the Chinese media called for tightening sanctions against the North and offered Pyongyang a choice between protracted isolation and national security, and between breaking the bilateral friendship and dismantling its nukes if it doesn't want military confrontation with China.

"One must clearly understand that the DPRK's line of access to nukes for the existence and development of the country can neither be changed nor shaken and that the DPRK will never beg for the maintenance of friendship with China, risking its nuclear program 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 the North's patience.

"China had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the DPRK-China relations," it said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency