Seoul (dpa) – South Korean president Park Geun Hye was to meet
Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday, with the agenda to include
the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Seoul said.
The meeting takes place admid diplomatic efforts to resume the
six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, involving the two
Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.
The talks were stalled in 2008 without reaching a deal.
Park will also attend a military parade with Xi in Tiananmen Square
to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on Thursday,
her presidential office said.
Observers noted that Park’s visit to China, historically the North’s
only diplomatic ally, was in contrast to Pyongyang leader Kim Yong Un
who has not yet met Xi since he took power in 2011. Kim sent top aide
Choe Ryong Hae to attend Thursday’s parade.
Others commented that Park would be attending a celebration of the
military power that fought alongside North Korea, against South
Korean troops and their US allies, during the 1950-1953 conflict.
She responded that she was aware of the context and had made the
decisin to attend “carefully.”
She was also accompanied by 158 business people representing 128
enteprises, with a focus expected on trade.
She has stressed the need for “closer ties in areas of health care,
medicine, culture, environment and finance” with China, South Korea’s
largest trade partner after the United States.