Chinese President Xi Jinping is to receive his South Korean counterpart، Moon Jae-in، for talks in Beijing in an attempt to deice relations، strained for almost a year، as well as to discuss North Korea، according to "Press TV".
During the upcoming meeting with President Xi set for Thursday، Moon is expected to reiterate South Korea’s earlier consensus with China that they would normalize relations and remove tensions over the deployment in Seoul of a US-made anti-missile system.
The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea irked China، which said the system’s powerful radar would be used to conduct surveillance against China while doing nothing to reduce tensions with neighboring North Korea.
It also affected trade and business ties between Beijing and Seoul.
Moon said during an interview with Chinese state television aired late Monday that THAAD’s deployment had been inevitable due to what Seoul perceived as a North Korean missile threat، assuring Beijing that it would not be used against China.
“South Korea will be extremely careful from here on out that the THAAD system is not invasive of China’s security. South Korea has received promises from the United States multiple times regarding this،” Moon emphasized.
Moon said joint efforts by Beijing and Seoul to bring Pyongyang to the negotiation table could have “good results.”
While both China and South Korea share the aim of convincing the North to give up its nuclear weapons and halt its testing of increasingly sophisticated missiles، they disagree on ways to achieve the objective. China has repeatedly underlined that South Korea and the US must stop their regular war games in the region before expecting Pyongyang — which views the massive military drills as threatening its security — to reconsider its weapons program.
In its latest test-launch of a missile، Pyongyang fired what it referred to as its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) yet.
Meanwhile، Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said over the weekend that Moon had chosen to have “friendly cooperation” with China، and that Beijing was willing to work with Seoul to bring peace and stability to the Korean Peninsula.
While China still objects to THAAD’s deployment، it has said it understands South Korea’s decision to install the anti-missile system.
During his first visit to China since taking office in May، Moon intends to bring bilateral economic exchanges back on track، South Korean press reports said، adding that he will be heading the biggest business entourage ever، with more than 220 business representatives taking part in the four-day visit.