South Korea Leader to Visit China as Japan's Abe Left Waiting


South Korea and the worldwide community may begin discussions on possible rewards for North Korea if the reclusive state decides to at least freeze its nuclear program and come to the denuclearization dialogue, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday.

The highlight of President Moon's bilaterals here in Manila will be his face-to-face talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang coming fresh off his one-on-one with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vietnam where the two sides agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of USA missile defense system in South Korea.

Abe also said China and Japan agreed to deepen cooperation on Pyongyang, and hailed a "fresh start" to ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

Moon agreed to make his first visit to China next month, said presidential chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan in a press briefing, which would mark his first visit to the country since he took office.

Moon, however, insisted now was still time to focus on keeping maximum pressure and sanctions against the impoverished North.

Moon said to Xi during the meeting, "Korea-China relations briefly faced difficulty, but on the other hand, it was an opportunity to reconfirm how valuable we are to one another". Last week, the North said it did not oppose dialogue, but would "never put the issue related to the supreme interests of the DPRK and security of its people on the bargaining table".

South Korea's KOSPI stock index weakened on Tuesday. "We hope the trilateral summit will resume soon", he said. "Despite South Korea promising to amend its relationship with China, we need to see how Seoul is going to handle the THAAD [issue]".

And after his fiery speech in Da Nang on Friday, Trump arrived in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Saturday, where he described Xi as a "good man" who "wants to do right".

South Korean stocks finished lower Tuesday as investors took to the sidelines over weak Chinese economic data and uncertainties over U.S. tax policy.

Trump held talks with Xi on Thursday, which led to the signing of business deals worth more than US$253 billion.

"We hope that South Korea will properly match its words with actions", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on October 31, noting that South Korea had agreed not to make further deployments of the missile shield.