Top diplomats of S. Korea, China hold talks

By Shin Yong-bae
  • Published : Nov 22, 2017 - 22:10
  • Updated : Nov 22, 2017 - 22:10

 BEIJING (Yonhap) -- The top diplomats of South Korea and China held talks on Wednesday during which they sought to mend ties ahead of an upcoming summit between their leaders. 

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for the talks with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. 

On Tuesday, Kang said that she and Wang will focus on fine-tuning preparations for the visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Beijing next month. 

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meets her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

How to step up coordination between the two nations on North Korea's nuclear advance is also expected to be high on the agenda.

For more than a year, South Korean firms have suffered under China's economic retaliatory measures against the deployment of an advanced US missile defense system in South Korea. 

Seoul and Washington said the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was only aimed at stepped up defense against North Korea's growing nuclear and missile threats. 

But, China has argued that it could threaten Beijing's security and unofficially banned group tours to South Korea while strengthening other regulatory punishment against South Korean firms doing businesses in China. 

In late October, after Chinese President Xi Jinping cemented his grip on power during the Chinese Communist Party congress, Seoul and Beijing announced an agreement to mend ties. 

The agreement calls for South Korea not to deploy more THAAD batteries and forge a trilateral military alliance with the US and Japan. 

During the Wednesday talks, Wang urged Kang to "appropriately handle" the THAAD issue. 

Kang told Wang that the two nations need to focus on normalizing bilateral ties as Moon and Xi agreed during their meeting on the sidelines of a recent APEC summit meeting. 

Kang also called for China to "resolve difficulties" facing South Korean firms in China and "promote people-to-people exchanges" ahead of Moon's visit to the country next month.