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S. Korea's top diplomat plays down meaning of N.K.-China meeting

All News 18:57 July 25, 2016

VIENTIANE, July 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se played down the meaning of a bilateral meeting held between China and North Korea on Monday, saying that it is part of customary talks that can happen on the multilateral diplomatic stage.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, held talks for about one hour on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings underway in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Both said that they discussed ways to enhance their ties.

Improved relations between the two countries could undermine the alliance that South Korea has built with Beijing in enforcing sanctions against the North's nuclear weapons program.

"You don't have to put a special meaning to it since bilateral talks at multilateral events are rather customary," Seoul's top diplomat told reporters here. "I think that those countries which have contacted the North would send a strong message against its nuclear and missile threats."

Mentioning his meeting with Wang on Sunday, Yun said that the Chinese foreign minister vowed to faithfully implement resolution 2270 adopted by the United Nations Security Council following the North's fourth nuclear test in January.

Meanwhile, Yun said that he will keep working to share the government's position on the joint move with Washington to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) on the peninsula.

In his meeting with Wang late at night on Sunday, Wang strongly blamed South Korea for hurting the foundation of trust between the two countries, demanding "practical" measures be taken to bring it back to normal.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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