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Cheong Wa Dae hints at Xi Jinping's possible trip to S. Korea

Politics 11:13 April 30, 2019

SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's presidential office indicated Tuesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping may visit Seoul in the near future, saying it's seeking a brisk round of top-level exchanges between the two sides.

It was responding to a news report here that Xi is expected to make a two-day trip to South Korea on his way to Osaka, Japan, for a G-20 summit slated for June 28-29.

"The government plans to push actively for high-level exchanges (with China), including those by leaders, this year," Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said when questioned about the news report.

South Korea is "in close communication" with China on relevant issues, which include the timing of such exchanges, but nothing has been decided yet, she added.

The Japanese government announced earlier that Xi plans to attend the Osaka session in what would be his first trip to Japan since coming to power in 2013.

An informed diplomatic source, requesting anonymity, said that Xi may make an official, bilateral trip to Japan in a bid to improve Beijing-Tokyo ties on the occasion of the multi-nation event.

If so, he will have to care about South Korea's request to reciprocate President Moon Jae-in's visit to China in December 2017, the source said, adding there's a possibility of Xi travelling to North Korea as well not long before or after visiting Osaka.


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