China dismissed U.S. President Trump's assertion Friday that President Xi Jinping might be behind North Korea's sudden shift to a recalcitrant attitude.
Following a weeks-long peace offensive, the North has changed its tack. It called off scheduled high-level talks with South Korea earlier this week and threatened to reconsider the plan to hold summit talks with the U.S. in Singapore next month.
Pyongyang cited the ongoing South Korea-U.S. joint air combat drills and denuclearization-related comments, especially by Trump's national security advisor John Bolton.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said Xi "could be influencing" the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.
Xi and Kim have met twice recently, a show of improved ties between the communist allies that share a border.
The U.S. has long stressed the importance of China's role in coaxing Pyongyang into changing its course.
Asked about Trump's view, Lu Kang, spokesman for China's foreign ministry, said his country has maintained a consistent position in connection with its role in dealing with the Korea Peninsula issue.
"Although other countries change their stances in a zigzag, that of China remains unchanged," he said at a press briefing.
China has maintained supportive efforts for the denuclearization of Korea via dialogue and to establish peace and stability in the region, he added.
He said the Chinese government welcomes Trump's promise to distance himself from the so-called Libya model for the denuclearization of North Korea.
"(We) are paying attention to the U.S. attitude to respect North Korea's security concern and desire a solution," the official said. "The essence of the Korean Peninsula issue is security." (Yonhap)