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Chinese, S. Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties

19 May 2017

It comes as South Korean President Moon Jae-in said there was a "high possibility" of conflict with North Korea, which is pressing ahead with nuclear and missile programmes it says are needed to counter USA aggression.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a special envoy of new South Korean President Moon Jae In agreed Thursday to resume "shuttle diplomacy" between the two leaders, according to the envoy.

Asked about Haley's comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China would work hard at reducing tensions on the Korean peninsula and finding a peaceful resolution.

President Trump's NSC senior director for East Asia Matthew Pottinger, after representing America at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, visited Seoul today, arranging for a meeting between President Trump and South Korea's newly elected President Moon Jae-in to occur in late June in Washington.

After the missile launch on Sunday, the United States, Japan and South Korea called a UN Security Council meeting to press the DPRK to change course and dismantle its missile and nuclear programmes.

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But bilateral relations plunged to their lowest level in many years after Seoul's announcement last summer that it would host the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system, or THAAD.

South Korea has complained that some of is companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the system's deployment. "The U.S., we are willing to talk - but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and any tests there".

South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo confirmed North Korea launched a missile Sunday which was large enough to carry a nuclear warhead and with the range to possibly deliver that warhead against targets on the mainland United States.

Should the North want talks with the US, Tillerson said that Pyongyang should refrain from conducting nuclear or missile tests for a certain period of time so as to create the right atmosphere for talks, the official said.

Before leaving Seoul for Beijing, Mr Lee said Mr Moon could meet Mr Xi as early as July at a Group of 20 summit in Germany, while a separate meeting could also be possible in August.

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"This is the desire of our two peoples but also our governments", Wang added. "We hope to put the two countries' relationship back on normal track as soon as possible by building mutual political trust and manage conflicts, building on mutual understanding and respect as well as the achievements we have made so far together with South Korea".

Russian Federation and China have opposed the THAAD deployment, calling on the all parties to find a peaceful solution to the hazardous situation in the region.

"China highly regards relations with South Korea as does South Korea", Xi was quoted as saying.

There seems to be a convergence of opinion between the Moon administration and the United States since Moon has qualified his call for moderation toward North Korea by asking for some concessions from Pyongyang to get talks restarted. His envoy for Russian Federation will leave next week.

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Chinese, S. Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties