Beijing assures Seoul it will end retaliation, provides guidance on upcoming talks with North

by WorldTribune Staff, March 30, 2018

China will end economic retaliation against South Korea over Seoul’s deployment of the U.S.-made THAAD missile defense system, a top Chinese official said on March 30.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In, right, meets with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on March 30. / Yonhap

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi gave the assurance on THAAD during his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in Seoul, Yonhap reported.

Yang also briefed Moon in detail on the outcome of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s meeting last week with China’s Xi Jinping and the two discussed ways to lead the North’s upcoming summits with South Korea and the United States toward success, according to the spokesman.

During his meeting with Xi, Kim reportedly said his country could denuclearize if Seoul and Washington take measures to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula.

“China places great importance on matters of interest to President Moon,” Yang was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-Kyeom.

According to the Yonhap report, Yang was referring to the normalization of Chinese group tourism to South Korea and commerce at Lotte Mart’s Chinese stores, the resumption of the construction of a Lotte Town in Shenyang and subsidies for electric cars with Korean batteries.

Yang added that there will be “tangible results in the near future” on these matters.

In March 2017, following Seoul’s installment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system, China banned the sale of package tours to South Korea and instituted other measures to economically penalize South Korean companies.

During his meeting with Yang, Moon also called on China to help reduce South Korea’s worsening pollution problem, which the South Korean president said China is partly responsible for.

“There is a domestic factor in South Korea’s fine dust, but China is also a factor. So there are mounting calls among our people for close cooperation between the two countries to tackle the problem,” Moon was quoted as saying.

Yang, in response, proposed to launch a joint environmental research and cooperation center as early as possible.

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