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S. Korea, China to hold annual forum on public diplomacy this month

South Korea and China will hold their fifth annual joint forum on public diplomacy on the southern resort island of Jeju this month, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

The semi-governmental forum will run from Aug. 16-17, led by South Korea’s public diplomacy envoy Park Enna and former Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.

The countries’ leaders agreed to institute the conference during a summit in 2013 as part of efforts to promote mutual understanding between the neighbors’ populations.

“The forum, though a 1.5-track event, would be a good occasion, as South Korea-China relations face uncertainty and this year marks 25 years of diplomatic ties,” a ministry official said.

They need further consultations about if the forum would include a special session dealing with sensitive diplomatic ties, the official said, adding that the bilateral rift over Seoul’s deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense may also be part of the discussion at the forum. (Yonhap)