Beijing supports Seoul’s initiative for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, China’s president told his South Korean counterpart on Tuesday.
In a phone call, Xi Jinping told Moon Jae-in that Seoul’s efforts are “in line with the common interests of both countries,” Yonhap News Agency reported.
A statement issued by South Korea’s presidency on Wednesday quoted Xi as saying that the Korean Peninsula situation was “stable in general” and China “makes much of Seoul’s role for a political resolution,” the report said.
The two also discussed plans for a trilateral summit with Japan.
President Moon said he was hopeful that Seoul and Beijing “can work together” on the matter, with President Xi vowing that “China will strengthen cooperation with South Korea to open the summit at the earliest date,” read the statement.
The annual summit was due to be held in South Korea last year, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the report said.
The two leaders also spoke on bilateral issues, including efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, with Xi voicing support for Moon’s “vision of creating a Northeast Asian cooperative body on public health.”
The Chinese president also expressed hope for an “early visit” to Seoul, according to the report.
North Korea ‘urgent matter’ for new US admin
Just hours after being confirmed as the new US secretary of state, Antony Blinken called South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to discuss the North Korea issue, Yonhap reported.
“The two ministers shared the understanding that the North Korean nuclear issue is a matter that should be dealt urgently with under the Biden administration as well, and agreed to consult closely to resolve the issue,” the South Korean ministry said in a statement.
Former US President Donald Trump started talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2018 and the duo met three times as part of Washington’s efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs.
The negotiations, however, stalled and proved inconclusive.
By September 2019, Trump went back to imposing more sanctions on North Korea, blocking individuals, companies, and financial institutions from doing business with the country.
Months later, in January 2020, Kim announced that North Korea would resume missile tests and start rolling out new strategic weapons.