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(LEAD) S. Korean president arrives in Beijing for summit with Xi

All News 11:50 December 13, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES dateline; RECASTS headline, lead to highlight Moon's arrival in Beijing; UPDATES with more information, minor changes throughout)

BEIJING, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Beijing Wednesday for a four-day state visit that will include talks with President Xi Jinping on North Korea and bilateral ties.

Moon will begin his first trip to China as president with a meeting with South Korean residents here, his office Cheong Wa Dae said. He will also attend a business round table, involving top business and economic leaders from both countries, followed by a joint business forum where he will deliver a special speech, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Top executives from dozens of leading South Korean firms are accompanying the president on his first trip to China. The firms include Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, SK and Hanwha groups.

The Moon-Xi meeting will be held on the second day of his trip. It will mark the third bilateral summit between the two leaders, following earlier meetings on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany in July and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Danang, Vietnam, last month.

Coming in the wake of the North's latest missile test, staged Nov. 29, the talks are widely expected to focus on ways to rein in North Korea's evolving nuclear and missile technologies. Pyongyang has conducted 11 missile tests since Moon took office in May. Its most recent missile test also marked a resumption of military provocations after a 75-day hiatus.

"The two leaders are scheduled to hold in-depth discussions on ways to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula," Nam Gwan-pyo, a deputy director of the presidential National Security Office, told reporters earlier.

The leaders will also discuss ways to normalize their countries' bilateral ties, soured by a Chinese protest against the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system in South Korea earlier in the year.

The countries agreed to put their relations back on the right track in a joint statement issued Oct. 31, but many believe the relationship has yet to thaw completely, since many Chinese retaliatory measures are still in place.

In an apparent reflection of the difficulties in mending ties, the countries have agreed not to issue a joint statement on the outcome of their leaders' upcoming talks.

The South Korean president will meet with other Chinese leaders -- including Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress -- on Friday to discuss ways to repair the countries' bilateral ties.

Also on Friday, Moon will deliver a special speech to students at Peking University before heading to the southwestern city of Chongqing, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

In Chongqing, Moon will visit the former office of his country's provisional government in exile, which operated in China during Japan's colonial rule of Korea from 1910-45.

He will also visit a local plant of Hyundai Motor Co. in Chongqing before returning home Saturday.



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