Wang, China’s top diplomat, visited South Korea and Japan as US allies prepared for a change in the new U.S. administration.
South Korea and China have agreed to co-operate in stalled talks on North Korea’s nuclear program and to prepare for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul after high – level talks.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Chinese High Ambassador Wang Yi on Thursday and expressed his “gratitude” to Beijing for “constructive role and cooperation” in the Korean peace process, the Yonhap news agency reported.
“Our government will not stop (officially) ending the war on the Korean Peninsula and working with the international community, including China, to achieve full nuclear disarmament and lasting peace,” Moon told Wang at their meeting.
In response, Wang told the Xinhua news agency that resolving the Korean Peninsula issue should take place through dialogue.
He said nuclear disarmament on the peninsula could be achieved in a “phased and synchronized manner” to prevent “war and chaos.”
Wang arrived in the South Korean capital on Wednesday after a two-day visit to Japan as Asian governments prepare for a possible change in United States policy on incoming biden governance.
Both South Korea and Japan have US allies and American military bases.
Finding common ground
Earlier on Thursday, Wang held talks with his South Korean rival, Kang Kyung-wu, during which they discussed Ji’s visit, which was delayed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The COVID-19 situation for President Xi’s visit will be stabilized and conditions will be created,” South Korean Foreign Ministry Wang Kong said in a statement after the meeting.
China and South Korea have traditionally suspected each other, but in recent years have found a common ground in economic cooperation and shared about North Korea’s rush to develop nuclear weapons.
Wang said his visit was to highlight the importance of efforts by “strategic partners” to promote peace and stability.
“The COVID-19 crisis has failed to defeat the citizens of our two countries,” Wang said at the start of his meeting with Kang.
“Bilateral relations are showing their strength and more power.”
Negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have stalled, despite outgoing US President Donald Trump pressuring North Korea to give up its weapons program instead of lifting sanctions.
The South Korean official declined to acknowledge that Kang had raised the issue of incoming U.S. administration in her talks with Wang, who expressed “hopes” for North Korean policy.
Wang reiterated China’s opposition to the US missile defense system set up in South Korea in 2017.
South Korea and the U.S. have said the system is designed to counter North Korea’s missile threats, but fears China will reduce its security interests.