China Calls On U.S., North Korea To End Nuclear Standoff

SEOUL, Feb. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday called for China's efforts to maintain the current momentum for dialogue between the two Koreas, also stressing the need for talks between the United States and North Korea to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

Moon met with Han Zheng, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, at his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Han currently heads China's official delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games that will begin Friday.

"President Moon said the countries must find an interface of their mutual interest. He especially stressed the need for the two countries to closely cooperate to maintain dialogue with North Korea even after the PyeongChang Olympics so they may lead to dialogue to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.

South and North Korea resumed dialogue last month to discuss the North's participation in the Winter Olympic Games that will end Feb. 25. They marked the first of their kind in more than two years.

© 제공: Yonhap News Agency

Han stressed the importance of dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, insisting they hold the key to a peaceful end to the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Moon agreed, calling for a greater role by China to make such dialogue happen.

"North Korea is actively taking part in inter-Korean dialogue. This dialogue must lead to peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I ask the Chinese government to do more to help ensure the inter-Korean dialogue will lead to U.S.-North Korea talks," he was quoted as saying.

The South Korean leader also called for efforts to normalize Seoul-Beijing relations, which have been soured by the deployment of THAAD, a U.S. missile defense system, in South Korea.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeatedly agreed to put the countries' ties back on the normal track in his three bilateral summit meetings with Moon last year, with the latest such meeting held in Beijing during Moon's state visit to China in December.

Moon apparently perceived some hard feelings still held by China.

"The two countries share the same goal, but there is one thing that could be improved," he told the Chinese official. "Our firms are facing difficulties in China. I ask the Chinese government to take a special interest so the benefits of China's growth may reach our companies too."

"In addition, I ask the Chinese government to help make sure more (Chinese) tourists will come to the PyeongChang Olympic Games and exchange of people between the two countries will be more vitalized," he added.

China earlier banned large group tours by Chinese citizens to South Korea. Though it claims to have removed such restrictions, many here believe the ban may still be in place.

bdk@yna.co.kr

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Source : https://www.msn.com/ko-kr/news/other/moon-calls-for-chinas-efforts-to-enable-dialogue-between-us-n-korea/ar-BBIQCDZ

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