SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Wednesday called for further expanding cooperative relations with China, including joint efforts to denuclearize and bring permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula.

Speaking at an annual conference on the country's future, Lee said that the two countries have increased exchanges at an unprecedentedly rapid pace since forging diplomatic ties 26 years ago but that there is still more to be done.

Lee also said having China next door is Korea's destiny.

"Not a few tasks still exist in Korea-China relations. There are a lot of things to do in people-to-people and material exchanges and cooperation in various sectors, including foreign affairs and security," Lee said.

South Korea will try to fulfill those tasks in a consistent and faithful manner, Lee said.

"The two countries should be more considerate of each other and make greater efforts to move Korea-China relations further forward. I hope Chinese leaders will do so too," he said

Lee said China should do more to resolve regional and global issues as a great power.

"A great power has roles to play and responsibilities to fulfill. China has a big responsibility for denuclearization and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. I am grateful for the constructive efforts China has made so far for Korean Peninsula denuclearization and peace and look forward to it playing more meaningful roles going forward," Lee said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency