World

Abe looks to hold first meeting with Moon in July or earlier

Abe looks to hold first meeting with Moon in July or earlier

Xi Jinping urged Seoul to respect its concerns and resolve tensions over the deployment of a United States anti-missile system that it opposes.

China has been infuriated by the USA deployment of an advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it was a threat to its security and would do nothing to ease tension with North Korea.

Xi's remarks came in a meeting Friday with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, who was dispatched to Beijing by South Korea's new president on a mission to reopen contacts and seek a way out of the current impasse, which has hit South Korean businesses hard.

The installation of the Thaad has resulted in an unofficial boycott of South Korean companies operating in China, including the supermarket chain Lotte, which had provided land in South Korea for the deployment. It has retaliated against Seoul by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers.

In a separate meeting with Lee on Friday, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi said China "hopes that South Korea can respect China's major concerns (and) appropriately resolve the THAAD issue", Xinhua reported.

He added that China hopes South Korea's new government will "correct the problems" and take measures as soon as possible.




China says its influence has been exaggerated and has called on South Korea and the U.S.to end large-scale wargames seen as threatening by North Korea in exchange for the North suspending its missile launches and nuclear tests.

Mr Xi called the South Korean leader to congratulate him shortly after his election victory last week, and the pair spoke of the common goal of a denuclearised Korean peninsula.

More South Koreans have become wary since U.S. President Donald Trump had said Seoul should pay $1 billion for THAAD after it was already in operation.

During campaign, Moon maintained that the anti-missile system, known as Thaad, should be reviewed by the next administration and the National Assembly, as the previous Park Geun-hye government rushed to approve Thaad's deployment without due process.

South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, center, arrives at the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (unseen), in Beijing, Wednesday, May 19, 2017.


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