(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks on Xi's possible visit, Beijing Olympics in last 4 paras)
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed hope Wednesday that China will continue support for the Korea peace process while meeting with the neighboring country's visiting top diplomat.
Commencing 40-minute talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi at Cheong Wa Dae, Moon took note of Beijing's role and contribution so far to the peace process.
The session came shortly before news reports of North Korea firing what are believed to be ballistic missiles into the East Sea.
"Our government will make efforts, along with the international community, including China, down the road as well for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of peace," the president said in his opening statement.
He requested China's "unswerving support" and Wang's related role. The minister, who doubles as state councilor, arrived here Tuesday for talks with his South Korean counterpart, Chung Eui-yong.
Moon added he is looking forward to the development of a "strategic cooperative partnership" between Seoul and Beijing to a higher level, on the basis of his major summit accords with President Xi Jinping.
Moon told Wang, "Your visit to South Korea is more meaningful now that it comes at a time when the two sides need to open the new future of mature bilateral relations ahead of the 30th anniversary next year of forging diplomatic ties."
Wang agreed Moon has built up "good relations of trust and friendship" with Xi.
"Under the leadership of the two, the China-South Korea relationship is maintaining the trend of sound development," he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened our friendship, rather than stopping cooperation. Cooperation for coronavirus control between the two countries has become an international exemplary case."
Wang said the two sides have been "respecting each other for taking different choices for development" and added it is important to maintain such a "good tradition."
Regarding the timing of Xi's trip to South Korea, the minister reiterated the need for constant "communication" between the two nations so that it can be made as soon as appropriate conditions are created, with the coronavirus situations stabilized, Moon's spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a press briefing.
Moon and Wang, meanwhile, talked about the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing in February next year.
Moon said he hopes the event will serve as "another turning point" in improving inter-Korean relations and contribute to peace in Northeast Asia and world peace.
Wang promised to make efforts to that end, saying, "If (we) have a political will with a proactive attitude, (we) will be able to achieve historic things in a single day," according to Park.
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