BEIJING — China on Thursday reiterated its call for an agreement between North Korea and the U.S. under which the North would gain concessions if it freezes its nuclear weapons program, apparently contradicting remarks a day earlier by President Trump.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang Geng said China’s position has not changed and the “freeze-for-freeze” initiative, under which the U.S. and South Korea would suspend large-scale military exercises in return, remained a “first step.”

The U.S. has long dismissed the proposal, saying North Korea must unilaterally cease its program before negotiations can begin. On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that China had agreed with the U.S.