SEOUL– National security adviser Suh Hoon will visit China this week to meet with Beijing’s top diplomat, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday, as Seoul pushes to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.
Suh will visit the northeastern port city of Tianjin on Thursday and Friday at the invitation of Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi, the presidential office said.
The two plan to meet Thursday and “exchange opinions on issues of mutual concern, such as South Korea-China relations, Korean Peninsula issues, and regional and international affairs,” it said.
The agenda will likely include Seoul’s push for an end-of-war declaration after the Korean War, in which South Korea and a U.S.-led United Nations Command fought against invading North Korean forces backed by China, ended in an armistice in 1953.
The Moon Jae-in administration believes an end-of-war declaration will help revive stalled peace talks with the North.
Suh is expected to brief Yang on Seoul’s latest efforts to formulate the declaration with Washington and seek China’s participation. He could also ask for China’s cooperation in drawing the North back to the negotiation table.
Senior presidential secretary for communication Park Soo-hyun told a local news outlet Wednesday Suh “will likely have a message to send to North Korea.”
“We hope North Korea will come to the dialogue table and discuss (the end-of-war declaration),” he said.
The two sides could also discuss President Moon Jae-in’s possible visit to Beijing for the Winter Olympics in February. Seoul is believed to be considering the Olympics as a possible venue for declaring an end to the war.
Suh and Yang last met in South Korea’s southeastern city of Busan in August last year. The national security adviser will be returning that visit this week, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Tianjin was chosen as the venue of their talks as part of China’s antivirus campaign, which has kept all visiting diplomatic envoys outside of the capital.
Source: Yonhap News Agency