Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in will make a four-day visit to China next week, a trip experts said bodes well for the nations jointly addressing the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful way.
The trip, which begins on Wednesday, also will take him to Chongqing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday.
“We hope this visit will play an active role in improving and developing the China-ROK relationship, as well as enhancing communication and coordination on issues including the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue,” he said at a daily news conference in Beijing.
Moon’s visit, the first since he took office in May, comes amid escalating tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs as well as indications of improving Beijing-Seoul ties.
Last week, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea test-fired its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
According to Yonhap News Agency, Moon is expected to discuss with President Xi Jinping ways to peacefully resolve Pyongyang’s nuclear issue and ensure peace on the peninsula.
It will be their third meeting. They previously met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in July and at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November.
China and the ROK reached consensus on some points on the US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in the ROK in October after setbacks.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Moon’s trip marks a recovery in ties between the two countries, which is needed to create a dialogue that could lead to a resolution of the peninsula’s nuclear issue. However, it also will take time to see whether the ROK will honor its pledges concerning the deployment of THAAD, he added.
Huang Youfu, a Korean studies professor at Minzu University of China in Beijing, said Seoul has shared a view similar to that of Beijing on the solution to the peninsula issue since Moon took office.