China has lashed out at the U.S. after Washington accused Beijing of not doing enough to arrest North Korean's nuclear ambitions, underscoring tensions between the two world powers in the geopolitically sensitive Korean Peninsula.
At the Chinese foreign affairs ministry's regular press conference on Monday, spokesperson Hua Chunying said U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter was being "unnecessarily modest" for thrusting the responsibility of handling Pyongyang solely on China.
"The cause and crux of the Korean nuclear issue rest with the U.S. rather than China," added Hua in an official transcript from the foreign affairs ministry.
"The core of the issue is the conflict between (North Korea) and the U.S. It is the U.S. who should reflect upon how the situation has become what it is today, and search for an effective solution. It is better for the doer to undo what he has done. The U.S. should shoulder its due responsibilities," she said.
Hua was responding to Carter who singled out the East Asian giant at a news conference in Norway as bearing the responsibility for North Korea's recalcitrant nuclear testing.
"It's China's responsibility," he said, according to Reuters. "China has and shares an important responsibility for this development and has an important responsibility to reverse it."
"And so it's important that it (China) uses its location, its history and its influence to further the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," he added.
Meanwhile, North Korea through its state-run news agency KCNA also said U.S. was the "very one" compelling the isolated country to develop nuclear warheads. The U.S.' constant "nuclear threat and blackmail" in the past decades was "an engine which pushed the (North Korea) to reach this point," it said.
On Tuesday, two U.S. B-1 bombers flew over South Korea in a show of solidarity with South Korea while Sung Kim, the U.S. envoy on North Korea, said the world's largest economy remained open to a meaningful dialogue with Pyongyang, Reuters reported.