Danny Russel, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said on Tuesday that China should more strongly urge North Korea to abandon its nuclear program if it wants the U.S. to change defense strategy in the Asia Pacific.
In a conference call organized by the Asia Society in Washington D.C., Russel said that China does not seem at ease with the concerted efforts by South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. to deter North Korea's military provocations and nuclear tests.
"The most direct way for China to affect those military deployments and those strategic alliance plans is by applying its leverage to North Korea to bring about a decision on the part of Pyongyang to choose the right path," he said.
Russel added that Chinese officials tend to "have a strong bias in favor of coaxing tactics that have not yielded results in the past and that don't seem likely to yield results."
His remarks suggest that U.S. defense strategy in the region could put pressure on China. "China should and hopefully will take further steps to bring North Korea to the conclusion that it has no viable alternative but to come into compliance with international agreements on ending its nuclear program."