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(LEAD) Xi expresses support for Korean denuclearization in phone talks with Moon: Cheong Wa Dae

Diplomacy 11:56 January 27, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details, background from 4th para)

SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed his active support for Seoul's initiative to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, calling the efforts in line with the common interests of both countries, according to Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday.

It said Xi delivered the comments during his phone talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday.

During the talks, Moon said he hopes Seoul and Beijing can work together to open a trilateral summit between the two countries along with Japan. Xi replied by saying China will strengthen cooperation with South Korea to open the summit at the earliest date, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Seoul had planned to host the annual summit, held in turns in the three countries, last year, but was unable to do so apparently due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

The two leaders also agreed that bilateral cooperation on coronavirus control turned out to be effective. Xi said he supports Moon's vision of creating a Northeast Asian cooperative body on public health.

Xi also said he was aware of South Korea's plan to begin public coronavirus vaccination next month and expressed hope that Seoul's vaccination program could play a key role in the global fight against the pandemic.

Cheong Wa Dae announced Tuesday after the phone talks that Xi expressed hope for an "early visit" to South Korea, as soon as conditions are created.

Xi was quoted as saying that Beijing makes much of Seoul's role for a "political resolution" to the North Korea issue, while describing the Korean Peninsula situation as "stable in general."

President Moon Jae-in (L) in a photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae, and President Xi Jinping in a file photo (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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