Russia and China said Friday that they would oppose any foreign military intervention in North Korea over its recent nuclear test.
The two countries' foreign ministers condemned last week's test but said any action against North Korea had to be settled at the United Nations, where Russia and China have the right of veto as permanent members of the Security Council.
"We are against the carrying out of a nuclear test in North Korea," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at a joint news conference after talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.
"The UN Security Council should give an adequate response, … but the action should be directed toward peace on the Korean Peninsula," he said.
Lavrov said China and Russia had agreed that it was "vitally important not to … allow the situation to be used as a pretext for military intervention."
North Korea's latest nuclear test, its third since 2006, prompted warnings from Washington and others that more sanctions would be imposed on the isolated state.
The UN Security Council has only just tightened sanctions on Pyongyang after it launched a long-range rocket in December.
The North is banned under UN sanctions from developing missile or nuclear technology after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.