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Leaders of Korea, China exchange congratulatory messages to mark 25th anniv. of diplomatic relations

Leaders of South Korea and China exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday to mark the 25th anniversary of normalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries, the foreign ministry said.

In the message, President Moon Jae-in assessed that their bilateral relations have seen significant advance and expressed hopes that the Seoul-Beijing ties that he cherishes will further develop into a "substantial" strategic cooperative one, according to the ministry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also said he regards China-South Korea relations as important, hoping that the two neighbors will "appropriately" deal with their differences and further advance the ties in a "stable and healthy manner," the ministry said. 

Separately, the foreign ministers of the two countries also exchanged messages to mark the anniversary.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hoped the two will continue to strengthen cooperation based on a consensus reached in a summit held in July and work together in efforts to tackle the root cause of North Korea's nuclear problem and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hoped the two will intensify exchanges and further advance their "mutual understanding and trust" and move the ties forward in a healthy and stable manner.

Since establishing formal diplomatic ties on Aug. 24, 1992, the two countries have expanded cooperation in numerous areas. In particular, their trade have surged more than thirtyfold with human exchanges up nearly seventyfold.


The ties, however, have been marred recently by the prolonged row over South Korea's decision last year to allow the deployment of a US missile shield called THAAD.

South Korea and the US claim that the THAAD system is solely aimed at inbound missiles from North Korea, but China strongly objects to the deployment, saying that it will undercut its strategic security interests. (Yonhap)