BEIJING-- South Korea's foreign minister said Tuesday the biggest task in her China visit will be making preparations for the upcoming summit between their leaders.
Kang Kyung-wha arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing on Tuesday for her meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi the following day. She was greeted by Chen Hai, Chinese deputy director-general for Asian affairs, at the airport. This is Kang's first trip to China since taking office in June.
"I'm happy to make my first visit to China and have a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi," she said after her arrival. "I have expectations for tomorrow's meeting."
Chen replied that he hopes the meeting can produce good results and provide a good opportunity to improve ties between the two countries.
Kang reiterated that she and Wang will focus on fine-tuning preparations for the visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Beijing next month during which he will meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
"Following a joint statement regarding the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) issue on Oct. 31, President Moon agreed in his meetings with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that they should work hard to develop the relationship between two countries," she said. "So, we want to find out how we can develop their will in details and discuss relationship between the two countries in general."
Kang said she also expects that there will be discussion on their coordination to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear issue.
When asked about whether the THAAD issue will be on the discussion table again, Kang said South Korea and China made significant progress with the joint announcement last month, and the issue is concluded for the time being.
"In this situation, we will prepare for the two leaders to have extensive talks on how to advance their relationship in general," she said.
South Korea and China previously agreed to communicate with each other on the THAAD issue through military channels. Kang said she doesn't know exactly how that work is progressing as that's a job left for the defense ministry.
Kang also didn't give a clear answer on whether South Korea and China will talk about their plans related to the United States' additional sanctions on North Korea. The Trump administration on Monday designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Source: Yonhap News Agency