Xi, Park share nuke position

By Ling Yuhuan Source:Global Times Published: 2013-6-28 1:13:01

Chinese President <a href=Xi Jinping shakes hands with South Korean President Park Geun-hye (left) after a joint declaration ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Park is on a visit to China from Thursday to Sunday. Photo: AFP" src="http://www.globaltimes.cn/Portals/0/attachment/2011/5446263f-01ab-4b25-8041-c6aa8b4ca949.jpeg" />

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with South Korean President Park Geun-hye (left) after a joint declaration ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Park is on a visit to China from Thursday to Sunday. Photo: AFP

China and South Korea reached an agreement Thursday that the nuclear weapons development of North Korea poses a serious threat and vowed to make joint efforts to realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, as South Korean President Park Geun-hye kicked off an official visit to China for her first summit with President Xi Jinping.

"China resolutely safeguards the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region, opposes any party disrupting such peace and stability and adheres to resolving problems through dialogues and negotiations," Xi said while meeting with Park, who is on a four-day visit to China, Xinhua reported.

"We shared an understanding that North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated under any circumstances," Park was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

A joint statement was issued after the summit, which highlighted the stance of both countries on seeking a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, the Yonhap reported.

"Both sides shared an understanding that the relevant nuclear weapons development poses a serious threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula, in Northeast Asia and in the world," the statement said.

Agreeing that Pyongyang's nuclear weapons development is "a serious threat" means Beijing has reached another very significant consensus with Seoul, Su Hao, director of the Asia-Pacific Research Center at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

"As China is also a part of Northeast Asia, the statement obviously indicates Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program also poses a serious threat to China," he noted.

"By saying this, China is making its stance even clearer," he added.

Although North Korea has relatively moderated its stance by sending two envoys to Beijing recently, Su said China's latest statement indicated that China would not make compromise toward the North's nuclear program.

Soon after Park arrived in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged all relevant parties to restart the long-stalled Six-Party Talks as soon as possible as he attended the World Peace Forum in Beijing.

The statement also said that Beijing and Seoul pledged to substantially boost political and security cooperation by establishing a dialogue channel between China's state councilor in charge of foreign affairs and South Korea's presidential national security chief, Yonhap reported.

 "Boosting cooperation in politics and security means China-South Korean strategic partnership will no longer remain in name only," Su said.

For fear of provoking the North, China's political and security cooperation with South Korea has been lagging far behind that in the aspects of economy and culture, Su noted.

Besides talks over the issue of North Korea, it is also widely expected Beijing and Seoul could achieve some progress in signing a free trade agreement during the visit.

Park is taking an unprecedentedly large delegation, including 71 business leaders to China, which is much larger than the 36-member business delegation that accompanied former president Lee Myung-bak's China trip in 2008 and the delegation Park took during her Washington trip in May.

Lü Chao, a researcher at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, said it is too optimistic to say the two countries will "come into a stage of unprecedented honeymoon" after Park's visit, noting that the bilateral ties reached a low point in the later half of last year after disputes involving Chinese fishermen and South Korean coast guards.

"The strategic partnership between China and South Korean is expected to gather new momentum after the visit, but it is impossible that all the problems can be dramatically solved within one single morning," he told the Global Times.

Agencies contributed to this story

Posted in: Diplomacy

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