Seoul: South Korean president Moon Jae-in said Thursday the global diplomatic push to defuse the nuclear stand-off with North Korea is at a “critical crossroads” and has called for China to continue serving a “positive role” in denuclearising the Korean Peninsula and stabilising peace.
Moon made the comments during a meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi at Seoul’s presidential Blue House. Wang made his first visit in four years amid efforts to patch up relations damaged by South Korea’s deployment of a US anti-missile system China perceives as a security threat.
“The process for the complete denuclearising of the Korean Peninsula and permanently stabilising peace is at a critical crossroads,” Moon said. “I would like to ask for continuous support from the Chinese government until the new era of a peaceful and denuclearised Korean Peninsula opens.”
Wang called for stronger “strategic communication” between Beijing and Seoul and took a jab at the Trump administration, which is locked in a trade war with Beijing, saying that international order was being threatened by “unilateralism” and “forcible politics".
“China and South Korea as neighbours should strengthen dialogue and cooperation to jointly uphold multilateralism and free trade,” Wang said.
Wang on Wednesday met with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha and discussed issues related to North Korea and details of a trilateral summit between Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo planned later this month in China. They also discussed facilitating high-level exchanges and arranging a possible visit to South Korea by Chinese president Xi Jinping next year, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said.
His visit comes after years of tensions over the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system placed in southern South Korea and amid concerns that a US-led diplomatic push to resolve a nuclear stand-off with North Korea is beginning to fall apart over disagreements in exchanging sanctions relief and disarmament.
With the talks faltering, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has intensified his missile testing activity while issuing an end-of-year deadline for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage the diplomacy.
There’s also uneasiness over the US-China trade war, which has hurt South Korea’s export-dependent economy and included US demands that South Korean companies stop using equipment from Chinese technology giant Huawei based on security concerns.
Wang last visited South Korea in 2015, a year before relations soured over Seoul’s decision to deploy THAAD, which China claimed could be reconfigured to peer deep into its territory. South Korea has said China retaliated by limiting Chinese tour group visits to South Korea, whose economy is increasingly dependent on Chinese tourism, and demand for its industrial products.
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Updated Date: Dec 05, 2019 15:33:33 IST