Blue House: South Korea to hold summit with China on Saturday

Blue House: South Korea to hold summit with China on Saturday

It is Japan's turn next to host the meeting, which involves its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Moon, who sent a special envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after his inauguration this year, promised to strengthen relations with the bloc "to the highest level".

The South Korean leader refused to answer when asked whether his country and the United States may consider halting their joint military exercises in South Korea, which have always been accused by Pyongyang as being aimed at attacking and toppling the communist regime.

"If talks begin to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue, I feel it will be realistically hard for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage", Moon said in a briefing.

South Korea and the worldwide community may begin discussions on possible rewards for North Korea if the reclusive state decides to at least freeze its nuclear program and come to the denuclearization dialogue, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday. In his remarks, he said that "the culture of tolerance and understanding among us [provides] space for positive dialogue".

Speaking to reporters in the Philippines, Moon also said if North Korea agreed to talks, negotiations could be held with all options open although it was too early to say specifically what.

He also invited Filipinos to visit South Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

The situation on the Korean peninsula dominated discussions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

Following the roughly 50-minute long bilateral the Blue House said there was an air of determination to push the relationship forward at the sideline summit talks in Danang.

Remarks by Xi reflect ongoing Chinese concern over the missile defense systemChina's decision to raise the THAAD deployment during the South Korea-China summit puts the spotlight back on an issue assumed to have been settled during deliberations on October 31.

The South Korean leader noted the THAAD issue may not have completely gone away, but insisted the countries have clearly left it behind.

The countries earlier issued a joint statement vowing to put their ties back on the normal track.

The Chinese prime minister said the countries' relations will continue to improve, though it may take time.

"Xi said that South Korea-China relations are at a critical point and that the two countries must respect their key interests and their grave concerns, safeguard reciprocal trust in political affairs and strengthen communication and cooperation", China's Foreign Ministry reported.

Better relations with China will help the nation withstand potential rough economic conditions next year, South Korean Vice Finance Minister Ko Hyoung-kwon told Bloomberg News in an interview last week.

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