US President Donald Trump has lashed out at China for undermining its work with North Korea, as criticism over progress on denuclearisation mounts.
In a series of tweets late Wednesday, he also said he saw no reason to resume the joint war games with South Korea that have angered North Korea.
But he insisted his relationship with Kim Jong Un remained “very good” and said he was not considering resuming joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula that Pyongyang considers “provocative.”
Trump’s refusal to direct criticism at Kim and instead blame other parties for a lack of progress comes despite reports the US received a belligerent letter from Pyongyang, which prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel a planned trip to North Korea last weekend.
“China makes it much more difficult in terms of our relationship with North Korea,” Trump said at the White House, though he insisted his ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping were “great.”
But in a rejoinder, China on Thursday derided Trump’s “irresponsible and absurd logic” .
“A lot of people, like me, feel that the US is first in the world when it comes to twisting the truth, and irresponsible and absurd logic,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing.
“This logic is not easily understood by all,” she said.
China also accused the US of shifting blame.
“We hope the US can play a positive and constructive role in settling the issue just like the Chinese. To solve the problem, it should look at itself instead of shifting blame,” said Hua.
Beijing is Pyongyang’s sole major ally, and the main transit country for any goods entering the North. Trump said that China —angered by US moves on trade —is no longer being as tough as it could be on North Korea.
“We know that China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertiliser and various other commodities. This is not helpful!” he added.
A summit between Trump and Kim in June ended with a pledge from the North to work towards “the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”. Soon after Trump announced there was “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea”.
But since then many observers say North Korea is not moving fast enough to dismantle its nuclear or rocket sites. -BBC