The North Korea nuclear crisis has pushed China and the US closer than they have ever been before, US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said. "At no time have we felt closer together than we have felt in the wake of these North Korean provocations," he told journalists on the sidelines of a Pacific Island Forum leadership gathering, AFP reported. Hill, whose brief covers East Asia and the Pacific, has been traveling with Condoleezza Rice in the region as she drummed up support for the UN sanctions placed on Pyongyang. Stressing that China is fully aware of the threats attached to a nuclear North Korea, Hill said the acid test would be whether Beijing can bring the North back to the negotiating table. Meanwhile, China made its first public comments regarding special envoy Tang Jiaxuan's trip to Pyongyang last week. The Foreign Ministry said North Korea leader Kim Jong-Il made no apology for the October 9 test but did give assurances that a second test is not in the offing and expressed an interest in re-starting the six-party talks.