South Korea wants 'new heights' for ASEAN ties amid North Korea threat
14 November, 2017, 20:21 | Author: Valerie Burke
(STAND-UP) "But before that, a separate meeting between President Moon and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang here in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related summits will show whether the strongest steel is indeed forged in the hottest fire".
It came two days after his second summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Da Nang, Vietnam, where the two top leaders expressed strong hope to develop bilateral relations.
"I believe today's meeting can offer an important opportunity for us in the development of the bilateral relationship, bilateral cooperation in regard to the Korean Peninsula issues and in exercising leadership in the future", he said.
Xi said China was willing to work with South Korea to improve bilateral ties, but called on Seoul to make responsible decisions about THAAD.
South Korea on Monday, November 13, said it is "determined" to bring its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to "new heights" amid growing concerns over persistent threats from its neighbor North Korea.
"We hope that South Korea will properly match its words with actions", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on October 31, noting that South Korea had agreed not to make further deployments of the missile shield.
"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.
Moon also said that South Korea's accumulated experiences in the construction and operation of high-speed railway systems would be available to interested Asean countries. He also hopes to travel to China for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping next year.
Moon, a human rights lawyer who won the presidency in May 2017, is the first South Korean president to appoint a special envoy to ASEAN.
After the meeting, South Korea's presidential office said that the two nations would strengthen strategic dialogue and continue discussions next month when Moon was expected to visit China.
China is South Korea's largest trading partner, buying about a quarter of the country's exports.
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