China has thumbed its nose at President Donald Trump once again. Beijing insisted Friday that North Korea’s nuclear proliferation and missile defense programs were a problem between Washington and the totalitarian of Kim Jong Un after Trump insisted China could squash the issue “easily,” Reuters reported.

It was the latest of many incendiary comments from both superpowers, with Trump often criticizing China for its economic and foreign policies on the campaign trail. Just before he took office, the president tweeted, “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won't help with North Korea. Nice!” China has since responded in kind through its state media and demonstrated frustration with Trump’s brand of foreign policy.

"We have said many times already that the crux of the North Korean nuclear issue is the problem between the United States and North Korea," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Friday.

The comment came in response to a Trump interview published by Reuters Thursday, during which the president stated China could prohibit North Korea’s continued violations of international law “ very easily if they want to."

However, Shuang did state that China has played and will continue to play a role along with Kim’s regime and the U.S.

"We hope the relevant parties can shoulder their responsibilities, play the role they should, and together with China play a constructive role for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and for its denuclearization,"  Shuang said.

An opinion piece by China’s Xinhua news outlet reflected its foreign minister when it stated “the first move” must be made by the U.S., according to Reuters.

"The Trump White House needs to make the first move and talk to Pyongyang. The United States stands to lose nothing for trying this," part of the piece read.

Well before China’s statements, it appeared that the Trump administration recognized it needed to reach out directly to Pyongyang officials. On Sunday it was revealed that the U.S. was in the process of bringing top North Korea officials to New York for face-to-face negotiations with former U.S. diplomatic officials, or “Track 2” meetings.