September 15, 2021
Shin Hyun Hee
Seoul (Reuters) – South Korean and Chinese foreign ministers met in Seoul on Wednesday amid concerns over North Korea’s recent missile tests and the impasse in denuclearization negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington.
The meeting took place a few days after North Korea announced last weekend that it had successfully tested a new strategic long-range cruise missile. Analysts said North Korea could be the country’s first such weapon with nuclear capabilities.
The test highlighted the steady progress of North Korea’s weapons program in a deadlock in negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs in exchange for easing US sanctions.
According to the Seoul Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea’s Chung Eui-yong met Wang Yi, who is also a member of the State Council, on the second day of his two-day visit.
Chung has vowed to continue promoting peace with North Korea and expressed his hope that the Winter Olympics in Beijing will provide an opportunity to begin its efforts.
“We expect China to consistently support our government’s Korean Peninsula peace process,” he told Wang at the beginning of the meeting.
“We hope that the Northeast Asian Relays of the Olympic Games from Pyeongchang 2018 to Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022 will be successfully held as a non-fashionable, safe and peaceful competition.”
Mr. Wang called for further cooperation to expand common interests and strengthen diplomatic relations, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, “faster, more stable and completely.”
Both sides held separate meetings to plan steps to promote cultural exchanges that have been curtailed in recent years amid China’s opposition to the US missile defense system in South Korea.
Seoul and Washington say the device is designed to counter North Korean missiles, but Beijing claims that the system’s powerful radar can invade its territory.
According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, chief nuclear negotiators from South Korea, the United States and Japan met in Tokyo on Tuesday to agree on the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy to resume denuclearization negotiations.
US Special Envoy Sung Kim said in a meeting that Washington had no hostile intentions towards Pyongyang and wanted to accept the offer of the meeting.
China, North Korea’s only major ally, has played an important role in efforts to pressure the dismantling of its nuclear program.
(Report by Hyun Hisin, edited by Michael Perry)
China’s South Korea negotiates North Korea’s missile test and stagnant diplomacy
Source link China’s South Korea negotiates North Korea’s missile test and stagnant diplomacy