A senior Chinese official on Wednesday reportedly said the United States should ease its requirements for holding nuclear talks with North Korea.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui in comments to South Korean legislators said Washington was being unreasonable in setting conditions for reviving a paralyzed multinational process aimed at achieving permanent North Korean denuclearization, a lawmaker who was at the meeting in Beijing told the Yonhap News Agency.
"The United States is demanding North Korea show its willingness to give up its nuclear [weapons program], while maintaining a high threshold," Zhang was quoted by the unidentified South Korean delegate as saying.
China and the United States are both participants in the frozen six-party talks, which propose to reward Pyongyang's gradual shuttering of its nuclear-weapons initiatives with phased infusions of foreign aid and security treaties. While Beijing supports reviving the negotiations as soon as possible, Washington has consistently said the North must first demonstrate its commitment to nuclear disarmament.
Zhang was quoted as saying that the United States was attempting to "achieve its target even before the talks resume."
"Unless dialogue resumes, North Korea will have a chance to advance its nuclear capabilities," Zhang reportedly said. "And we don't want this to happen."