South Korea will never recognize or tolerate North Korea as a nuclear state, nor will Seoul have nuclear weapons, the South’s President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday (01/11), while China said it would work with Seoul to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
Moon also said there can be no military action on the Korean peninsula without the South’s consent, adding the government will continue working for peace on the peninsula.
China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing and Seoul will continue to use diplomatic means to address the Korean peninsula issue, according to a statement.
Moon’s remarks and China’s statement came a day after a meeting in Beijing between Lee Do-hoon, South Korea’s representative for six-party nuclear talks and his Chinese counterpart, Kong Xuanyou.
At the meeting China and South Korea agreed to work together towards resolving the North Korean nuclear issue and to normalize all exchanges to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a US anti-missile system.
Both sides agreed to continue close cooperation to restart denuclearization talks, Seoul said.
North Korea’s state media had no comment on the shift in ties between South Korea and China as of midday on Wednesday. It has not engaged in missile tests since mid-September or any nuclear tests since its biggest one early that month.
A senior Blue House official had said warmer bilateral ties had seemed to come about from better trust in Seoul by Beijing, which has expressed concerns regarding possible additional deployments of a US anti-missile defense system and military cooperation among South Korea, the United States and Japan.
Earlier this week, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa had said despite the deployment of one anti-missile battery, South Korea has no intention to join a US missile-defense system in the region and would not host additional batteries. Kang added South Korea would not enter any trilateral military alliance with the United States and Japan.