China says hopes new South Korean government will correct problems

Posted May 19, 2017

The threat posed by North Korea's large military forces close to the border with South Korea, and the military's ability to bomb the nearby South Korean capital of Seoul, have been effective tools in convincing some past South Korean governments to provide economic and agricultural assistance to Pyongyang.

Some foreign media outlets dubbed President Moon's approach the "Moonshine policy", combining his surname with former President Kim Dae-jung's "Sunshine Policy", which was an attempt to improve relations with the North by encouraging interaction and economic assistance. South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, meets China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, Wednesday, May 19, 2017. Spokesman Moon Sang Gyun said it is still unlikely that North Korea has re-entry technology, which would return a warhead safely back into the atmosphere.

" China, too, pays great attention to the bilateral ties", Xi said in comments in front of reporters in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

China has been infuriated by the USA deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tensions with Pyongyang.

China "is committed to resolving any issues through dialogue and coordination, which is in the fundamental interests of both countries and the region", Xi was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.

Hong Seok-hyun, a former chairman of JoongAng Media Network who also served as an ambassador to the USA, met with Trump on his first day of a visit as President Moon Jae-in's special envoy.

He said North Korea would stage more nuclear and missile tests in order to ideal nuclear bombs needed to deal with U.S.

Haley said the US was still working on persuading China and Russian Federation to support stronger sanctions against North Korea, to which end she "pointedly reminded Russian Federation that the North's latest missile test had reached close to Russia's border", as the New York Times puts it.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Lee that Seoul must "remove the obstacles that have been placed on the road to good relations between our two countries". South Korean businesses have faced boycotts, especially the retail group Lotte which provided the land on which the system is being constructed.

He added that China hopes South Korea's new government will "correct the problems" and take measures as soon as possible.

In recent weeks Beijing and Seoul have signaled a desire to fix relations following the election of Mr. Moon, who has taken a friendlier stance toward China than his conservative predecessor.

Throughout the election campaign, Moon called for deployment of THAAD to be halted and the decision about its future to be taken by the new government and the country's parliament.

For his part, Lee said Moon asked him to express his "gratitude" to Xi for his message of congratulations after the election.

Adam Cathcart, an expert on China and Korea at the University of Leeds, said Beijing "has really backed itself into a corner on the THAAD issue, having made it an explicit red line issue for the Chinese public". "Short of a major improvement in the North-South (Korea) relationship or the US-North Korea relationship, I don't see how Seoul can argue for the US to withdraw the system or even suspend its functioning".