China expected to play a responsible role regarding North Korea, Yoon tells Li

Seoul, Sep 7 (EFE).- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol during his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Thursday said Beijing should play a responsible role in relation to the North Korean issue so that Pyongyang does not end up becoming a thorn in bilateral relations.

The meeting was held in Jakarta on the sidelines of the ASEAN+3 summit, which included members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus South Korea, Japan and China.

Yoon said that the more the problem posed by the North Korean regime’s development of weapons of mass destruction worsens, the stronger the trilateral cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo would become, as Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Tae-hyo told the media.

“Let us cooperate to ensure North Korea does not become an obstacle in the development of South Korea-China relations,” Yoon was quoted as saying, according to Yonhap news agency.

Yoon also sought Beijing’s cooperation in holding a trilateral leaders’ summit between South Korea, Japan and China – something that has not happened since 2019 – and the Chinese side responded positively, Kim said.

The meeting between Yoon and Li comes after months of tensions and verbal exchanges between Seoul and Beijing over the North Korean weapons program, Taiwan and the strengthening of ties between South Korea and the United States.

It also comes after North Korean media announced earlier in the day that a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu Guozhong would visit Pyongyang to attend the 75th anniversary of its founding day on Sep. 9.

After the failure of disarmament negotiations with the US in 2019, North Korea’s closeness with China and Russia has been increasing, especially in recent months, in the face of the growing polarization.

The Ukraine war has also contributed to worsening the situation, while Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have boosted trilateral cooperation between them. EFE


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