Friday, 17 November, 2017

Moon and Li agree to normalize bilateral ties

Moon in Manila for Summit ASEAN Meetings South Korea, China agree to manage North Korea issue peacefully, in stable manner
Kenny Thornton | 14 November, 2017, 20:21

South Korean President Moon Jae-In sees a community-connected future between South Korea and Southeast Asian nations as a blueprint for major prosperity for both his country and ASEAN.

Meeting for the first time since their modus vivendi to put aside their differences and end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea, Presidents Moon and Xi reaffirmed their joint resolve to mend ties and restore cooperation in all areas.

North Korea and its missile tests have been a central issue during the ASEAN meet, as well as during the recently-concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Vietnam.

The nuclear ambitions of North Korea will likely top the agenda of a Moon-Xi meeting.

Tension on the Korean peninsula rose last month as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged war-like threats and insults over the North's nuclear and missile development programme.

The South Korean president expressed hope his talks with Li will further speed up the normalization of their ties.

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"We hope that South Korea will properly match its words with actions", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on October 31, noting that South Korea had agreed not to make further deployments of the missile shield.

The South Korean president is set to return home Wednesday. The deployment of Thaad has contributed to a 0.4 percentage point drop in South Korea's gross domestic product growth in 2017, according to Bank of Korea estimates, preventing it from growing at the fastest pace since 2011.

"At the end of the meeting, President Xi said this is a meeting that marks a fresh start of relations between Japan and China".

Global leaders have begun arriving here in Manila, the Philippines for the 31st ASEAN-related summits.

Seoul-Beijing relations have been at their lowest ebb due to China's protest against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile defense system in South Korea.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on Tuesday for advancing free trade agreement talks between China, Japan and South Korea, state news agency Xinhua reported.

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