U.S. President Barack Obama is warning the United States may have to redeploy American forces in Asia unless China toughens its stance on North Korea.
A senior Obama administration official told The New York Times that Mr. Obama delivered that warning to Chinese President Hu Jintao this week during the two leaders' private dinner at the White House on Tuesday, just hours after Mr. Hu arrived in the United States.
According to the unidentified U.S. official, Mr. Obama said, if Beijing does not help curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the United States will have to realign its forces to protect against a possible North Korean strike on American soil.
U.S. officials have increasingly been warning that North Korea poses a direct threat to the United States. Mr. Obama is said to have raised the issue with Mr. Hu twice in recent weeks - first during a telephone conversation last month, then again at their private White House meeting.
American officials told U.S. news outlets Friday that China appears to be taking the warning seriously. They credit renewed pressure from Beijing for the quick agreement on new high-level military talks between North and South Korea, announced Thursday.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.