China and South Korea have vowed to promote a political resolution to the tensions on the Korean peninsula. The pledges came during a meeting of high-level officials in Seoul.
Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday after Kim Jong Un’s unofficial visit to China earlier this week. CGTN’s Shane Hahm has details.
He’s a lifelong diplomat and a former Chinese foreign minister.
Now as President Xi Jinping’s right-hand man on foreign policy, Yang Jiechi is in South Korea as President Xi’s special representative.
Yang’s trip comes just days after DPRK leader Kim Jong Un paid an unofficial visit to Beijing.
“We believe Kim Jong Un’s visit (to China) will help the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, ensure peace and security of the Korean peninsula and resolve problems regarding the peninsula through political negotiations and discussions,” Yang Jiechi said.
Yang’s first order of business in Seoul was to meet South Korean presidential security adviser Chung Eui-yong.
The two had met earlier this month when Chung flew to Beijing as a special envoy to brief Chinese officials after his visit to Pyongyang. Now Yang is reciprocating, as a sign that China and South Korea are in close coordination.
“It is very meaningful that Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the South-North Korea summit and the North-U.S. summit,” said Chung Eui-Yong.
The leaders of the ROK and the DPRK have agreed to meet at Panmunjom April 27 for an historic summit, and a meeting between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled for late May.
South Korea has played a major role in coordinating that meeting, but experts say it will take a concerted effort by all nations with a vested interest.
“The DPRK nuclear issue, the peace treaty issue, and even the issue of a peaceful reunification are difficult without the assistance from neighboring countries and the international community,” said Professor Yang Moo-Jin at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.
The next couple of weeks will be critical in determining the long-term fate of the Korean Peninsula. If planned high-level summits with the DPRK somehow fall through, experts say any hopes for a peaceful outcome could be dashed.
That’s why they say it’s all the more important for countries like South Korea and China to keep the dialogue going and resolve the complex situation through discussion and diplomacy.
Jim Walsh on the visit of China special envoy to Seoul
CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with Jim Walsh from the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about the meeting between Pres Xi’s special representative, Yang Jiechi, and ROK Pres Moon Jae-in in Seoul.