South Korea's presidential office strongly indicated Friday that it's pushing for an immediate summit between President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the occasion of the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan.
"(The two sides) are closely communicating" in connection with the possible summit, a Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters.
No decision, however, has been made yet on the "timing, venue and formality" of a possible meeting between Moon and Xi, he added.
A final decision is expected to be made after Moon's eight-day tour of Finland, Norway and Sweden from Sunday, according to the official.
Cheong Wa Dae said Moon needs to hold another round of talks with the Chinese leader as early as possible.
There have been a series of news reports here that Xi is expected to make a brief stopover in Seoul on his way to Osaka to join the G-20 session on June 28-29.
A major daily, the JoongAng Ilbo, reported that working-level officials of South Korea and China have already begun preparations for Xi's trip here.
An official at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul rebutted the report, saying the embassy is not making any earnest preparations.
"We have not received any relevant direction (from Beijing)," the official told Yonhap News Agency, requesting anonymity.
The G-20 is about three weeks away, which is a short time to prepare an agenda and logistical details associated with a trip by Xi to South Korea, the official said.
"It's physically difficult to make preparations," he said. "Of course, (we) have to do so even in a few days if it's a special situation. But I don't think now is such a special situation."
He left the possibility open for a Xi-Moon meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 forum. (Yonhap)