South Korea to attend China's Silk Road summit amid diplomatic rift

Randall Craig
May 14, 2017

SOUTH Korea's President Moon Jae-in is to send special envoys to China to discuss issues concerning a U.S. missile defense system and North Korea.

The spokesman said: "The Prime Minister called the South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier this morning to congratulate him on his recent electoral success".

Winning an election in a country deeply split following the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye over an extensive corruption scandal, Moon Jae-in, a former human rights lawyer, needed only 40 percent of votes to defeat other conservative candidates in the election on Tuesday. During their conversation, both agreed to pursue the goal of denuclearization of Korean peninsula.

"The new South Korean government will actively communicate with China on these issues and seek appropriate resolutions", the statement quoted Moon as saying.

"If Moon tries to reopen the industrial park, it will violate the United Nations resolution on North Korea, which required severing all economic aids that may provide financial support to its nuclear arms programs", Kim said.

Moon said at his inauguration Wednesday he is prepared to lead a major global diplomatic effort to find a peaceful resolution to the tense security situation.

"I would think that the [U.S.] administration would like to hear out what he has in mind, how viable that might be, and how it might fit into their policy, which is maximum pressure and engagement", he said.

That said, it is not clear that Seoul and Beijing can immediately get on the same page and put bad blood behind them.

President Moon said "South Korea wants to pursue the goal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula together with China, including resuming the six-party talks as soon as possible and other methods".

Press secretary Yoon Young-chan said separate delegations would hold talks with their Chinese counterparts on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea and the USA began deploying the THAAD system in March and it has since become operational.

North Korea last week accused the Central Intelligence Agency of plotting with the South to assassinate Mr Kim using a biochemical weapon, an allegation impossible to verify - and following the killing of his half-brother Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia with a banned nerve agent, a murder widely blamed on Pyongyang.

China has also denied it is doing anything to retaliate against South Korean businesses.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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