South Korea, China seek to warm frosty ties
SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
South Korea and China tried yesterday to improve a relationship strained by a US missile defense system, issuing strikingly similar statements, and with Seoul saying their leaders would hold talks on the sidelines of next week’s APEC summit.
The nations have been at loggerheads over the deployment in South Korea of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which Seoul and Washington say is intended to defend against missile threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.
China sees it as a threat to its own military capabilities. It has slapped a series of measures on South Korean firms and banned tour groups from going to the country in moves seen as economic retaliation.
But in virtually identical statements issued by their foreign ministries, the two countries -- Asia’s number one and num-ber four economies -- said they had agreed to address China’s concerns over THAAD through future discussions.
“The two sides agreed to communicate through the channels of the two armed forces on the THAAD issues of concern to the Chinese side,” said the statement from Beijing.