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President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph ahead of the summit meeting in Papua New Guinea on Saturday.  
--Photo Yonhap

Moon, Xi agree to closely cooperate for successful 2nd US-NK summit

(Yonhap/The Korea Herald) -- The leaders of South Korea and China agreed to work closely together for the success of a possible second summit between the United States and North Korea during their talks in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, Seoul’s presidential office said.
President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met to discuss peace efforts on the Korean Peninsula and other issues on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the Pacific island country.
“The two leaders judged that the second North Korea-US summit and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul will mark a crucial turning point for the resolution of Korean Peninsula issues,” Kim Eui-kyeom, Moon’s spokesman, told reporters after the summit.
Washington and Pyongyang have been seeking to arrange a second summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim to make progress in their lackluster negotiations on Pyongyang’s denuclearisation, though such efforts appear to have made little headway.
Seoul has been expecting Kim to make an unprecedented trip to the South to reciprocate Moon’s visit to Pyongyang in September for their third summit.
The Moon-Xi summit came as the South Korean leader pushes to elicit international support to keep Pyongyang on a denuclearisation track amid growing skepticism over the prospect of its nuclear disarmament.
At the talks, Xi threw his support behind Moon’s efforts to establish peace on the peninsula, saying China will continue to play a “constructive” role.
Xi said he has received the North Korean leader’s invitation to visit Pyongyang and that he is considering traveling to the North next year.
Xi also expressed his intention to actively support the Koreas’ push to jointly host the 2032 summer Olympics, saying that it will contribute to the development of cross-border relations and the establishment of peace, Moon’s spokesman said.
Commenting on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Korea’s provisional government in China during Japan’s colonial rule of the peninsula, Moon called for Beijing’s continued interest and cooperation in preserving the historical sites of Koreans’ independence movement.
Xi said he would actively cooperate.
The leaders also decided to actively pursue a project to repatriate the remains of Chinese forces that are thought to remain in Korea after the 1950-53 Korean War. They called the project a “symbolic” one that represents the improvement in bilateral relations and trust.
In addition, they agreed to make joint efforts to tackle environmental issues, including fine dust pollution, and strive for progress in their negotiations over a bilateral free trade agreement to achieve a “mutually beneficial conclusion.”
Moon invited Xi to visit Seoul at an early date. Xi said in turn that he is willing to visit the South at a convenient time next year.

(Latest Update November 19, 2018)

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