While backing the new South Korean leader’s wishes for diplomatic endeavors along with sanctions and pressure to solve North Korean problem, Chinese President Xi Jinping during his first summit talks with his Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in reaffirmed opposition to the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and indicated bilateral ties will remain strained as long as the U.S. missile shield remains in the Korean Peninsula.
The issue of THAAD and renewed missile provocation from North Korea hung heavily over the two’s first face-to-face summit meeting held on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Berlin, Germany on Thursday. The tete-a-tete originally scheduled for 40 minutes was stretched to 75 minutes.
Bringing up the thorny issue of THAAD, Moon pointed out that bilateral exchanges in the economy, culture, and human resources have been hampered by various constraints from Beijing and asked the Chinese leader to pay special interest in improving bilateral relationship.
Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting on Monday jointly reiterated opposition to the THAAD presence in the Korean Peninsula.
Xi reportedly told Moon that he hoped “the obstacle for improving and advancing Korea-China relation will be removed” while adding that he must consider the sentiment of his people over the issue.
The two, nevertheless, agreed on the need of dialogue along with tough enforcement of sanctions to make North Korea suspend its nuclear and missile activities.
Xi said Beijing is completely in compliance with the UN Security Council sanctions and doing all it can to stop North Korea’s further advance in missile, without elaborating.
By Park Man-won and Kang Gye-man
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]