Moon, Xi agree to 'normalize' ties 'in all areas'

Dominique Dufresne
Novembre 15, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte looks on as South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrives for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit gala dinner in Manila, November 12, 2017.

In addition, the two leaders also agreed to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting.

Remarks by Xi reflect ongoing Chinese concern over the missile defense systemChina's decision to raise the THAAD deployment during the South Korea-China summit puts the spotlight back on an issue assumed to have been settled during deliberations on Oct. 31.

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And after his fiery speech in Da Nang on Friday, Trump arrived in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Saturday, where he described Xi as a "good man" who "wants to do right". If the deal draws Seoul into Beijing's orbit and weakens the trilateral partnership with Washington and Tokyo, the diplomatic and security benefits to China could be significant.

During his four-day trip here, Moon is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He has echoed China's preference for a peaceful resolution to the North Korea problem while expressing reluctance to participate in the "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy advocated by Japan and the U.S. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.

Experts remain divided on how smooth the relationship will proceed from here on out, but what's for sure is that it's too soon to tell and we'll definitely find more out in a couple of weeks' time when South Korean President Moon makes that Beijing visit to face his Chinese counterpart in December.

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China and South Korea have agreed to restore bilateral relations to a "normal development path swiftly", the foreign ministry in Seoul said in a statement in October. Under the circumstances, the consultative group is likely to focus on the prevention of provocations rather than fundamental solutions to the North Korean nuclear issue.

The two heads of state agreed to normalise bilateral relations at the summit that took place on the sidelines of last weekend's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. But his proposal that they pay mutual visits next year - the 40th anniversary of a friendship treaty between them - was met only with references to the importance of high-level exchanges, he told reporters. "President Xi's reputation is on the line here", said Kim Jun-hyeong, a professor at Handong Global University. "It corresponds to the 'people-centered economy' policy that me and the government are pushing ahead".

"We also would like to extend our invitation for you to go in the matter of manufacturing, automotive, food production, processing, agribusiness with bigger area, electronics, and energy", said Duterte.

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North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test this year and test-fired a series of advanced missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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