South Korea, China Agree to Restore Ties After THAAD Standoff
AFP 2017/ MENAHEM KAHANAAsia & Pacific09:26 31.10.2017(updated 09:42 31.10.2017) Get short URL
South Korea and China have agreed to mend ties after a year-long spat over the deployment of a US missile defense system in South Korea.
Relations between the two countries plummeted after the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) began in South Korea.
“Both sides share the view that the strengthening of exchange and cooperation between Korea and China serves their common interests and agreed to expeditiously bring exchange and cooperation in all areas back to a normal development track,” the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement came after a meeting between Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Kong Xuanyou and South Korea’s Second Deputy Director of National Security at the Presidential Administration Nam Gwan-pyo.
The South Korean presidential office also said that South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the sidelines at the forum of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries on November 10-11.
According to Reuters, the two leaders are likely to discuss the North Korean missile and nuclear program as well as ways to restore bilateral relations.
READ MORE: ‘Nothing to Apologize For’ — Still, Seoul Won’t Install More THAAD Systems
Washington and Seoul have insisted that the THAAD system is aimed against the North Korean missile threat. Beijing, however, believes the US-owned and operated missile shield could be used against China. In response to the THAAD installation, Beijing imposed sanctions on South Korean companies working in China.
In a separate statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Seoul recognized Beijing’s concerns over the THAAD deployment and made it clear it was not meant to harm Beijing’s security interests.