Published : 2014-01-01 15:48
Updated : 2014-01-01 15:48
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se had phone talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, primarily on North Korea, Yun's ministry said Wednesday.
The conversation, arranged at Wang's request, began at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and lasted about one hour, said the ministry in a news release.
It was their first talks since North Korea executed Jang Song-thaek, the once-influential uncle of leader Kim Jong-un, in early December.
Yun and Wang compared their assessment of the political situation in the secretive communist nation and discussed ways to prevent any crisis on the peninsula, according to ministry officials.
The two also expressed satisfaction over improving relations between Seoul and Beijing, especially in the wake of President Park Geun-hye's trip to China in June, they said.
Yun and Wang met in New York in September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
China's foreign ministry said in a statement that Yun and Wang also exchanged views about last week's visit by Japan's prime minister to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo that has drawn scathing criticism from both Seoul and Beijing.
During the conversation, Wang took note of strong condemnations made by South Korea and China against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine honoring millions of Japanese war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals convicted after World War II, according to the statement.
Wang said the reactions by Seoul and Beijing against Abe's shrine visit were "just and legitimate," according to the statement.
Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45 and controlled much of China during World War II.
Meanwhile, the South Korean minister plans to visit Washington early this month for a bilateral meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Yun's ministry did not release his exact itinerary, while the State Department has not made any announcement yet on that. (Yonhap News)