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South Korea to invite Chinese President when Covid stabilises


SEOUL: South Korea’s foreign minister said on Saturday the government will prepare for a visit to South Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping, local news outlet Yonhap reported.

“As soon as the novel coronavirus stabilises, we have decided to prepare for President Xi’s visit to (South) Korea as early as possible,” Chung Eui-yong told reporters after a meeting with State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Yonhap reported.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s foreign minister said on Saturday he expects China to play a role in peacemaking between South and North Korea, as the United States and its allies agreed to continue pushing Pyongyang to denuclearise.

“South Korea and China share a common goal toward complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and toward permanent peacemaking policies,” Chung Eui-yong was quoted as saying by South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Chung met on Saturday with State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government’s top diplomat, in the Chinese city of Xiamen, as part of the first visit of a South Korean foreign minister to China since 2017.

Wang said China and South Korea had agreed “to promote the process to politically resolve issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula,” Yonhap reported.

On Friday, national security officials from the United States, Japan and China agreed to work together to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and on the need to implement United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

Chung’s visit comes as Seoul seeks to mend ties with its biggest trading partner.

A 2016 row over a US antimissile system placed in South Korea hit the country’s tourism, cosmetics and entertainment industries. — Reuters

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