SK's leader to visit China for talks on NK

2017-12-07 02:17:56 GMT2017-12-07 10:17:56(Beijing Time) Sina English

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit China next week for talks on North Korea and other issues, his office said yesterday.

The announcement came as a high-level United Nations representative held talks with a senior North Korean official during a rare trip to Pyongyang.

Jeffrey Feltman, UN undersecretary general for political affairs, arrived on Tuesday to discuss what the UN called “issues of mutual interest and concern.”

Feltman and Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Kuk discussed cooperation between North Korea and the UN Secretariat and assistance from UN agencies to Pyongyang and “other matters of mutual interest,” North Korea’s KCNA news agency reported.

Feltman’s trip comes less than a week after North Korea test-fired a new ballistic missile said to be capable of reaching America.

Discussing ways to “peacefully resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue” will be on Moon’s agenda when he meets Chinese President Xi Jinping next week, Moon’s office announced yesterday.

China has proposed that North Korea suspend missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a suspension of US-South Korean military exercises, a suggestion Washington has repeatedly rejected.

A US B-1B bomber flew over the Korean Peninsula yesterday, Seoul’s defense ministry said, as part of a major joint air exercise slammed by North Korea as an “all-out provocation” that could trigger a nuclear war.

The five-day drill involves some 230 aircraft including F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters.

Moon will arrive in Beijing next Wednesday for a four-day state visit, his first trip to China since taking office in May.

The two countries are trying to improve ties strained by Seoul’s deployment of an advanced US missile defense system.

Seoul and Washington say the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system is intended solely to counter missile threats from North Korea but Beijing sees it as a threat to China.

(Agencies)

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