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Chinese, S. Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties

19 Mai 2017

A rap group backed by China's government is warning South Korea in a music video that "you're going too far" with the deployment of a USA missile defense system, as Beijing seeks to bring its state-supported cultural forces to bear in the global dispute.

But a South Korean civic group erecting a "comfort women" statue outside the Japanese Consulate General in the port city of Busan last December led to Japan recalling its ambassador to South Korea for three months by way of protest.

South Korea has complained that some of is companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the system's deployment.

Moon briefly stopped by the meeting to greet Pottinger, Yoon said.

Ties between Seoul and Beijing soured before Moon's election over the deployment of THAAD, which is aimed at guarding against threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.

The agreement, struck by Abe and ousted former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, was meant to "finally and irrevocably" settle the matter, with Japan paying 1 billion yen ($9 million at the current rate) to a fund for the women set up by the South Korean government. It also conveyed Moon's wishes to hold a summit with Prime Minister Abe soon, proposing the two leaders meet "at the earliest date" and also continue to meet "frequently".

The prime minister said the agreement should be "properly managed", according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. "But THAAD is still the most critical barrier for the relationship to go forward". China, which is never comfortable with coercive diplomacy (except in pursuit of its own national interests, such as isolating Taiwan), will use any call by the Moon government as a reason to give diplomacy a chance. "The Chinese public has no interest in the complexities of missile defense systems".

Zhao said this was likely meant to force Moon's hand.

"We now need to apply pressure on North Korea, and Japan and the United States need to coordinate closely so as to apply pressure", Abe told reporters.

On Tuesday, Pottinger and Chung agreed to work toward a summit meeting in late June, said Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan.

"China can be more flexible", Zhao said.

Haley said the United States and China have been working on "a unified plan" on how to approach North Korea that would include tougher new sanctions. He is the author of last year's landmark North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act that authorized significant sanctions on Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile development as well as human rights violations.

Haley previously indicated that new sanctions could target oil, a critical import for North Korea mainly from China, and she added that the United States also wanted sanctions on organizations and businesses in third world countries that are helping Pyongyang.

Inside the North Korean embassy in Beijing, photos adorn the walls of Chinese officials meeting with the North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and his son and successor Kim Jong Il.

Chinese, S. Korean officials meet in attempt to repair ties