China today lodged a diplomatic protest with the United States after President Donald Trump alleged that Beijing was not helping with the process of denuclearisation of North Korea, and said his accusations were "irresponsible" and he was "passing the buck".
The harsh rhetoric from Pyongyang comes just days after US President Donald Trump nixed plans for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make what would have been his fourth visit to North Korea, citing insufficient progress on the issue of denuclearization.
But China hit back, with its Foreign Ministry saying on its website: "The US statement violates basic facts and is irresponsible".
China on Saturday denounced Donald Trump's accusation that Beijing is stalling efforts to disarm North Korea as "irresponsible", after the United States president said an upcoming trip to Pyongyang by his top envoy had been cancelled due to lack of progress on the issue.
Japan has been sceptical of North Korea's diplomatic charm offensive, which has led to summits with Trump, as well as leaders of South Korea and China.
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.
His most recent visit to Pyongyang in early July was seen as a failure that included a snub from Kim Jong Un, who reportedly visited a potato farm instead of meeting with the top USA diplomat.
The UN's nuclear agency (IAEA) has also said North Korea is continuing with its nuclear programme.
Beijing supports "advancing the process of a political settlement" following the Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore, the statement said.
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It was a blow to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who introduced a new special envoy to the North on Thursday and said the two would travel to Pyongyang "next week" amid stalled nuclear talks.
The president has pretty regularly targeted China in the past.
In February this year, CCN reported that South Korean intelligence officials had told the country's parliament that North Korean state-sponsored hackers had stolen billions of won in cryptocurrency last year by hacking exchanges. The sanctions were created to exert painful economic pressure on Pyongyang and drive North Korea's Mr. Kim to enter into talks over the country's nuclear program.
North Korea's blistering broadsides against Japan are nothing new, given its position as a hated former colonial power and a key player in global efforts to punish Pyongyang with sanctions over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Kono declined to reveal details about what Pompeo said regarding the cancellation of his planned trip to North Korea. "I look forward to seeing him soon!"
"The challenge is that by essentially claiming to have achieved that goal in Singapore, President Trump has made it hard for his administration to accept something less".
Trump's decision came just days after the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.
Trump also linked the move to his growing spat with Beijing, which has roiled financial markets and global commerce. The U.S. military spokesman in South Korea was not immediately available to comment.