SEOUL (Reuters) - The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting, the South’s presidential office said.
For this, the two countries will strengthen strategic talks on all levels, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan told reporters in Danang, Vietnam, where a meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and China’s Xi Jinping was held on the sidelines of an APEC summit.
Xi told Moon that he encouraged South Korea to resume dialogue with North Korea and re-engage with them for reconciliation and de-nuclearisation, state news agency Xinhua reported.
Tension on the Korean peninsula rose last month as North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged war-like threats and insults over the North’s nuclear and missile development program.
China has been urged by both South Korea and the United States to take a more active role in curbing North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions.
Beijing has said it is complying with United Nations Security Council sanctions and doing all it can to curb the isolated state’s provocative actions.
During Saturday’s summit, Moon and Xi also agreed to quickly normalize bilateral exchanges in all sectors, Yoon added, repeating what was said in the agreement announced last month when the two countries agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system.
South Korean companies with Chinese customers had suffered due to backlash from China, which has vehemently opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
Xi urged South Korea to take a “responsible attitude on THAAD that stands the test of history”, Xinhua said.
Xi was quoted as saying it would be “new beginnings and a good start” by Yoon.
Meanwhile, the two agreed for Moon to visit Xi in China in December to hold another round of summit talks, while Moon invited Xi to South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games, which falls in February next year, the spokesman said.
The Chinese president said he would try, and if he were unable to make it he would send a high-ranking team of envoys, cited Yoon.
Reporting by Christine Kim; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Ros Russell and Hugh Lawson