(4th LD) Xi says N. Korea's denuclearization will unchanged, urges resolution to THAAD issue
(ATTN: ADDS Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson's full name in 3rd para, remarks on air pollution in paras 11-12)
By Lee Chi-dong
OSAKA, Japan, June 27 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping told South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's will toward denuclearization and reconciliation with South Korea remains unchanged, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
Xi briefed Moon on the results of his visit to Pyongyang last week when they met in Osaka, Japan, one day before the opening of the Group of 20 summit.
Kim is hoping for an "improvement in external conditions" as his regime is striving for economic development and better living conditions of the people in accordance with a "new strategic (policy) line," Xi told Moon, according Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung.
He was apparently referring to a wide web of U.N.-led sanctions on Pyongyang.
Kim wants to resolve the issue through dialogue and maintain patience to seek a "reasonable method" at an early date, Xi was quoted as adding.
Xi also said the North intends to push for inter-Korean cooperation and reconciliation by keeping the dialogue mood intact.
In response, Moon said Xi's talks with Kim, along with the exchange of personal letters between the leaders of the United States and North Korea, has spurred the "momentum" of Washington-Pyongyang dialogue, Ko said.
With regard to the repatriation of the remains of Chinese troops killed during the 1950-53 Korean War, Moon said many articles believed to be left by them have been discovered in South Korea. Moon vowed to send those back with respect.
Moon also voiced expectations for continued economic cooperation between South Korea and China.
They talked about various pending issues for around 40 minutes through simultaneous translation.
They exchanged views on the environmental issue including air pollution.
Xi said his government is making a "tenfold" effort for environmental protection and promised close cooperation on the issue. Many South Koreans believe that much of the fine dust blanketing their territory comes from China.
Some thorny issues were raised as well, such as the China-U.S. dispute over cybersecurity related to 5G technology and the advanced U.S. missile defense system deployed in South Korea, called THAAD, according to a Cheong Wa Dae official.
Xi asked Moon to resolve the THAAD problem, as Beijing has been strongly opposed to its presence on the peninsula. Moon replied that it's a matter linked with denuclearization.
At the outset of the talks, which pool media were allowed to cover, meanwhile, Xi said Beijing would contribute to maintaining regional peace and stability.
"If our two nations join hands, (we) can do a lot of things," he told Moon.
"China will push incessantly for the development of bilateral ties with South Korea and contribute to maintaining peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in this region," he added.
Moon noted Xi's recent North Korea visit came at a "grave time for continued progress in the Korean Peninsula peace process," Moon's office said in a separate post-summit press release.
The two sides also agreed on the need for further "spurring" the current dialogue process to achieve the denuclearization and peace goal.
"Expressing unswerving support for our efforts for the establishment of Korean Peninsula peace and the development of South-North relations, President Xi said the Chinese side would play a constructive role for the acceleration of progress in the security conditions on the Korean Peninsula," Cheong Wa Dae said.
Moon arrived here earlier in the day to join the G-20 summit and headed straight to a downtown hotel, where Xi is staying, for the talks, which lasted around 40 minutes.
It was their fifth summit and first in seven months. They met each other on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) regional summit in Papua New Guinea last November.
N.K. leader's sister accuses Zelenskyy of gambling with Ukraine's destiny
Former Gyeonggi governor's son arrested over alleged meth use
Top U.S. general cancels plan to visit S. Korea due to time restraints: his office
N. Korea says its nuclear capabilities 'not empty talk'
BLACKPINK's Jisoo tops iTunes' global chart with 'Flower'
(News Focus) Abrupt replacement of national security adviser gives rise to much speculation
Yoon puts S. Korea-Japan relations back on track
Japan's removal of export curbs on S. Korea to boost supply chain stability, ease biz uncertainties
Yoon's summit with Biden to highlight S. Korea's 'pivotal' role in region: U.S. experts
(News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan