BEIJING (AFP) - China voiced its concern Tuesday over what it said was an increasingly uncertain situation on the Korean peninsula, where close ally North Korea is pushing ahead with plans for a rocket launch. China's foreign ministry made its strongest public comments on the recent spike in tensions surrounding North Korea shortly after the isolated nation's premier, Kim Yong-Il, landed in Beijing for a five-day visit. While the North insists that the launch, scheduled for April 4-8, is for a communications satellite, the United States believes the real aim is to test a long-range ballistic missile that could, in theory, reach Alaska. "At present, the situation on the Korean peninsula is rather complicated with an increasing number of uncertain factors," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters. Qin was responding to a question about China's position on the launch as well as stalled six-nation talks aimed at dismantling the communist nation's nuclear programmes. China is regarded as having influence on North Korea because it is one of its closest allies and most important trading partners, as well as being chair of the nuclear negotiations. Kim was due to meet with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao during his trip, which both sides have promoted as part of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of relations between the northeast Asian neighbours. However, they have steered clear of the security issues when discussing the reason for Kim's trip. North Korea has resisted pressure from the United States and its allies to call off the rocket launch and warned that any attempt to shoot it down would be regarded as an act of war. At the same time, it has also stepped up its rhetoric against South Korea, even sporadically closing off access to a key joint industrial complex. Despite Qin's comments, analysts said China was unlikely to pressure North Korea too heavily over the rocket launch and the nuclear talks during Kim's trip. "The Chinese have more influence (on Pyongyang) than anyone else, but the North Koreans are going to do what they want to do," said Daniel Pinkston, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. "The Chinese know that if they push too hard against the North Koreans and take very punitive actions, then the six-party talks could collapse and North Korea could... reconstitute their nuclear programme." Under a landmark deal reached by negotiators in 2007, the North agreed to dismantle its nuclear programmes in exchange for badly needed energy aid and diplomatic concessions. But the talks, which also group the United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan, broke down in December amid disagreement on how disarmament would be verified. The negotiations had previously failed to stop North Korea from conducting its first atomic weapons test in October 2006. Jing-dong Yuan, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the US-based Monterey Institute of International Studies, agreed the rocket launch was unlikely to feature high on this week's agenda. He said that even if China wanted to exert pressure on North Korea to stop it going ahead with a test, it would be reluctant to use heavy-handed pressure that could jeopardise political stability in Pyongyang. "I am not sure if China has any significant level of influence over North Korea," he said. "Although Beijing can do things that can in turn hurt North Korea, given the latter's growing dependence on Chinese economic assistance... inflicting pains on North Korea is not cost-free for Beijing, from both the diplomatic and stability perspectives." Kim flew from Beijing to the eastern province of Shandong Tuesday, where over the next two days he was due to meet local leaders and visit the birthplace of Confucius, according to the China News Service. He will then return to Beijing, to attend the celebrations marking the anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic ties, state news agency Xinhua reported.