President Obama warned President Hu Jintao that if China did not step up its pressure on North Korea, the United States would have to redeploy its forces in Asia to protect itself from a potential North Korean strike on American soil, a senior administration official said Thursday.
Mr. Obama’s warning, first made in a phone call to Mr. Hu last month and repeated over a private dinner at the White House on Tuesday, persuaded China to take a harder line toward North Korea, the official said, which opened the door to a resumption of dialogue between North and South Korea.
China’s change of heart is far from complete: Beijing has still not condemned North Korea for torpedoing a South Korean warship. During Mr. Hu’s visit, China for the first time joined the United States in publicly expressing concern over a new North Korean uranium-enrichment plant. But there were no immediate signs that it planned to punish the North for its defiance.