File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
China's Foreign Ministry on Saturday expressed "serious concern" about US comments on North Korea as it slammed President Donald Trump over "irresponsible accusation''.
"The US statement is contrary to basic facts and is irresponsible. We are seriously concerned about this," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement posted on the ministry's website.
The ministry said in a statement that it made "stern representations" to US officials and that it would continue to play a positive role in working towards denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.
Donald Trump on Friday abruptly cancelled his Mike Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearise had stalled since his summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump partly blamed China for his lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolves its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.
It was a dramatic shift of tone for Trump, who had previously hailed his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite no real sign Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.
But Trump still kept the door open to a second summit with Kim, with whom the president recently said he has "great chemistry."
"I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," Trump wrote on Twitter.
I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 24, 2018
Negotiations have all but deadlocked since the summit in Singapore. Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.
(With inputs from Reuters)