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China, South Korea top diplomats pledge to work on North Korea, COVID-19

The foreign ministers of China and South Korea recently held talks on working together to deepen bilateral ties and to work on the global issues including stalled nuclear talks with North Korea, the global pandemic and their economic recovery.

By: Reuters | Seoul | November 26, 2020 1:27:33 pm
The bilateral ties have overcome the COVID-19 ordeals and are showing their strength and ever more vigour," South Korea's Kang Kyung-wha said. (Bloomberg Photo)

The foreign ministers of South Korea and China pledged on Thursday to collectively work to advance bilateral ties and tackle regional and global issues including the stalled nuclear talks involving North Korea and the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi who arrived in Seoul late on Wednesday, after spending two days in Tokyo amid talks of a trip to Seoul by the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Wang said his visit was to highlight the importance of bilateral relations as the two countries cooperate as “strategic partners” on defending regional peace and stability and promote global governance.

“The COVID-19 crisis could not defeat the citizens of our two countries,” he told Kang at the beginning of the meeting.

“The bilateral ties have overcome the COVID-19 ordeals and are showing their strength and ever more vigour,” Kang said. While thanking Wang for the visit, she expressed her hopes to deepen cooperation on issues including North Korea, the pandemic and economic recovery ahead of the 30th anniversary of the bilateral relations in 2022.

“I am also looking forward to discussing ways to stably manage the fluid situation on the Korean Peninsula and to foster conditions to move forward our efforts to build lasting peace,” she added.

The ministerial talks come as both countries explore the possibility of Xi visiting Seoul, just as the United States is gearing up for a new administration under Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Xi’s trip had been expected early this year but was postponed by the pandemic disrupting the diplomatic calendar.

Wang is also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Moon Jae-in, among other officials.

Wang is the second senior Chinese diplomat to visit South Korea since the coronavirus emerged in China late last year, following an August trip by Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party Politburo.

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