UN hopes China will exercise its influence on North Korea to deter it from escalating tensions

The U.N. deputy chief says he hopes that China will exercise its influence over North Korea to bring Pyongyang back to talks and discourage the regime from further escalating tensions after it conducted a nuclear test last week.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told reporters in Beijing that Chinese officials who met with him expressed that "they will do what they can but that we should not exaggerate their influence" over the North.

China is seen as the only major power with any real influence on North Korea as it pursues nuclear weapons. It provides North Korea with fuel, food and investment.

But Beijing has been reluctant to act against a neighbor it sees as a valuable buffer between U.S. troops stationed in South Korea and Japan.