South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul Engages in First Diplomatic Dialogue with China’s Wang Yi

SEOUL — In a significant diplomatic engagement, South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul conducted his inaugural phone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday. The dialogue, marking the first of its kind since Cho's assumption of office, was aimed at deliberating over North Korea alongside other critical bilateral issues, according to Cho's office.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the discussion encompassed a variety of topics including the regional security landscape and bilateral concerns such as supply chains. Wang Yi seized the opportunity to invite Cho to Beijing, a gesture reflecting China's desire for closer cooperation and enhanced bilateral relations moving forward. Cho expressed gratitude for the invitation and concurred on arranging his visit through diplomatic avenues at a mutually convenient time.

The ministers exchanged views on the regional security situation, agreeing on the necessity of bolstering "strategic exchanges and communication" across different levels. Cho emphasized the importance of minimizing conflict factors and fostering trust between South Korea and China. He also advocated for expedited preparations for the upcoming trilateral summit involving South Korea, China, and Japan, a topic agreed upon during a foreign ministers' meeting last November.

Addressing concerns related to North Korea, Cho highlighted the country's provocative actions and expanding military collaboration with Russia, alongside its continued development of nuclear capabilities and missile technology in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. He appealed to China to assume a "constructive role" in encouraging North Korea towards dialogue and denuclearization. Additionally, Cho addressed the issue of North Korean defectors in China, urging the Chinese government to ensure these individuals can relocate to a country of their choice.

This dialogue represents the fifth such interaction between Cho and his international counterparts since taking office, following discussions with officials from the United States, Japan, Australia, and Vietnam. The engagement underscores the importance of Sino-South Korean relations in addressing regional security challenges and fostering diplomatic cooperation.

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