China has long propped up the North Korean regime as a buffer state between it and U.S. ally South Korea. But China's patience with North Korea is reportedly running thin and this latest nuclear test may be the atom that broke the camel's back, at least if China's web users had their say (which, of course, they don't).
Liz Carter of Tea Leaf Nation took the pulse of Weibo (China's version of Twitter) and found the response decidedly hostile to North Korea. One commentator described China's policy of propping up the Hermit Kingdom as "raising a mad dog to protect your house."
Josh Kim is also surveying China's online reaction, where several commentators have had harsh words for "Fatty Kim the Third." Lian Peng, anewspaper columnist, complained that the "bitterest loser" of North Korea's antics is China. Another, Yao Bo, argued that if "China continues to tolerate this thug nation, we will lose big."
The official Chinese reaction is more restrained, with the Foreign Ministry claiming to be "strongly opposed" to North Korea's nuclear experimentation.