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Virus hurts possibility of Xi's visit here in H1: FM

All News 14:38 April 28, 2020

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- Chances of Chinese leader Xi Jinping visiting South Korea in the first half of the year have become more unlikely due to the coronavirus pandemic that has affected both countries, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday.

"The possibility of Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting the country in the first half of the year has become lower due to the COVID-19 crisis," Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers in a parliamentary session.

Kang, however, said the two countries' agreement on Xi's "early visit" here remains unchanged.

Xi had agreed to travel to South Korea in the first half of the year for talks with President Moon Jae-in. The exact schedule has not been announced yet.

The foreign minister also said the two countries are in consultations over granting entry ban exemptions or fast-tracking entries for businesspeople.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks to lawmakers at a parliamentary session held at the National Assembly in Seoul on April 28, 2020. (Yonhap)

Regarding ongoing efforts to advance wages for furloughed Korean workers at the United States Forces Korea (USFK), Kang said Washington has denied a proposal suggested by Seoul, citing lack of legal grounds.

The foreign minister said the defense ministry is leading efforts to help settle wages for the furloughed workers, while the government is seeking to ultimately resolve the issue by reaching a deal on the cost-sharing agreement.

mlee@yna.co.kr
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