BEIJING-- China reiterated on Thursday that the most reasonable way to resolve North Korea's nuclear stalemate is to push for a stop to joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. in exchange for freezing Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations.

"China sees the freeze-for-freeze scheme is the most reasonable way," Geng Shuang, China's foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

He made the remarks in response to what U.S. President Donald Trump earlier said.

Explaining the outcome of his 12-day Asia trip that also included a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Trump said on Wednesday (Washington time) that the two leaders agreed that they "would not accept" the freeze for freeze agreement, "like those that have consistently failed in the past."

The spokesman said stopping the joint military exercises and provocations at the same time is the "first step" necessary to create an environment for talks and called for other countries to "actively" consider the method that China had proposed.

"The freeze-for-freeze move is just for a breakthrough and the first step," he said. "The final objective is to peacefully resolve the North's nuclear problem and realize long-term stability on the Korean Peninsula."

He also emphasized that it is a shared view among countries that military force should not be an option to resolve the North's nuclear problem and renewed Beijing's support for peaceful means including negotiations to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Yonhap News Agency