(CNN) -- China complained Thursday that it was being criticized for proposing a return to six-party talks to defuse the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"It seems that some people think it's reasonable to brandish weapons while criticizing China for promoting dialogue as the host of the six-party talks -- do you think it's fair?" Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.
On Wednesday, America's top military officer had called China's offer of talks an inadequate response to the threat posed by North Korea.
"Beijing's call for consultations will not be a substitute for action," said Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
He called on China to take action against North Korea because it has the best leverage to stop the rogue nation's "reckless behavior."
Four South Koreans were killed by North Korean shelling on November 23, Yonhap reported officials as saying.
North Korea has said the South provoked the attack, which also left 18 people injured, because shells from a South Korean military drill landed in the North's waters.
As North Korea's largest trading partner and strongest ally, China has been urged by the international community to confront the crisis.
China reacted to the increased tensions after the artillery shelling by urging a return to the six-party talks that include North Korea, South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia.
"I want to add that the emergency consultation by the heads of delegation of six-party talks is not a formal round of talks," Jiang said Thursday. "So it shouldn't be a difficult decision for relevant parties. Our purpose for such a proposal is to have relevant parties sit down and exchange views on major issues of concern to ease the tensions on the peninsula.
"We need to start talking before we can see any positive results and talking is the only way to possibly resolve problems."
South Korea has said it doesn't think the time is right for a resumption of the six-party talks, but promised it would "bear in mind" the Chinese proposal.
CNN's Steven Jiang contributed to this report.