South Korea, China to hold talks: Seoul

Sun.Star Pampanga - - WORLD! -

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korean Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-In will hold talks with his Chi­nese coun­ter­part Xi Jin­ping on the side­lines of next week's Apec sum­mit, Seoul said Tues­day, with the neigh­bours' re­la­tion­ship strained by a US mis­sile de­fence sys­tem.

Bei­jing has slapped a series of mea­sures on South Korean firms and banned tour groups go­ing to the coun­try in moves seen as eco­nomic re­tal­i­a­tion for the de­ploy­ment of the pow­er­ful US Ter­mi­nal High Al­ti­tude De­fense (Thaad) sys­tem.

China sees the in­stal­la­tion, which Seoul and Washington say is to de­fend against mis­sile threats from nu­clear-armed North Korea, as a threat to its own mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Xi and Moon will have a sum­mit on the side­lines of the Apec gath­er­ing in Danang, Viet­nam, Seoul's pres­i­den­tial of­fice said.

"The agree­ment to hold the sum­mit is the first step... to re­store bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion and ex­changes in all ar­eas to a nor­mal path," said Nam Gwan-Pyo, Seoul's deputy di­rec­tor of na­tional se­cu­rity.

It fol­lows a sim­i­lar meet­ing in Ber­lin in July ahead of the G20 sum­mit.

China is South Korea's big­gest trad­ing part­ner and its mea­sures have heav­ily im­pacted some of the South's big­gest com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing re­tail con­glom­er­ate Lotte, which pro­vided a golf course used for the Thaad de­ploy­ment, and car­maker Hyundai.

A state­ment from Seoul's for­eign min­istry said that both sides had "de­cided to push for the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the strate­gic co­op­er­a­tive part­ner­ship" and "agreed to en­gage in com­mu­ni­ca­tion on Thaad-re­lated is­sues".

But it in­di­cated that both were stick­ing to their stances, say­ing the "Korean side re­it­er­ated its po­si­tions that it had pub­licly stated" while China "hoped that the Korean side would deal with re­lated is­sues ap­pro­pri­ately". (AFP)

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