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Top diplomats of S. Korea, China agree to push for high-level exchanges

Diplomacy 21:36 February 16, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Tuesday and agreed to push for high-level exchanges to further deepen bilateral relations, the foreign ministry said.

It was the first phone conversation between the two ministers since Chung took office last week.

"The ministers agreed on the importance of exchanges between the leaders of the two countries as well as high-level officials that would deepen and develop South Korea-China relations as strategic cooperation partners and agreed to actively pursue them," the ministry said in a release.

During the phone talks, Wang also reaffirmed the will of Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Seoul when the COVID-19 outbreak situation improves. The two sides agreed to continue consultations for the visit to swiftly take place.

Wang also invited Chung to visit China, the ministry added.

They also discussed regional issues, including those related to the Korean Peninsula, and agreed to bolster cooperation to stably manage the situation and for progress toward complete denuclearization and lasting peace in the region, the ministry said.

During the talks, the two sides also exchanged opinions on the South Korea-proposed regional health cooperation forum in Northeast Asia to handle pandemics and other common challenges and agreed to continue communication to promote the initiative, according to the ministry.

Chung has held a series of phone talks with his counterparts of key countries, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This pool photo, taken on March 12, 2018, shows Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong, who was then the national security adviser to President Moon Jae-in, meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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