Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

China calls for advancing free trade talks with South Korea, Japan

Trump misses Shinzo Abe's golf bunker theatrics... China calls for advancing free trade talks with South Korea, Japan
Bennie Garza | 14 November, 2017, 20:52

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called for regional efforts to denuclearize North Korea on Tuesday, saying the North's nuclear ambition presented a threat not only to the region but the entire world.

Moon was elected president of South Korea last May after his predecessor Park Guen-hye was impeached.

Earlier, the South Korean government proposed no additional THAAD deployment in the Korean peninsula, non-participation in the missile defense system of the United States, and no joint military drill with the USA and Japan.

"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.

President Duterte has urged South Korea to invest more in the Philippines as he vowed to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Seoul-Beijing relations have been at their lowest ebb due to China's protest against the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) missile defense system in South Korea.

For his part, Moon said that bilateral ties are now standing at a new starting point.

"I wish we will quickly put the China-Korea relations on the normal track through the joint efforts of the two countries", he said through his interpreter, according to Blue House pool reports. But Japan, whose relations with both neighbors have often been fraught, appeared to make little progress toward its hopes of hosting a trilateral summit by the end of the year.

President Moon Jae-in (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo ahead of their successful summit at the Crown Plaza Da Nang in Da Nang, Vietnam, on November 11.

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.

Moon made the remarks at the annual East Asia Summit (EAS), attended by the leaders of 17 other countries, including China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

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