South Korean officials will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday, as part of an effort to bring jittery regional powers on board with US President Donald Trump's stunning decision to accept a face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Seoul's lead envoy, National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong, will meet Xi in Beijing, as a parallel delegation heads to Tokyo to brief Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the attempts to open talks with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile program.
China, which appears to have been left on the sidelines as South Korea has orchestrated the rapprochement with the North, attempted to take partial credit for the developments at the weekend.
Mean2while, an op-ed in the government mouthpiece, People's Daily, said that the diplomatic breakthrough followed China's "dual-suspension" proposal, in which North Korea would freeze its missile-testing program in return for the suspension of US-South Korean military drills.
But despite China's claim, North Korea has yet to offer any concrete steps to whittle back its nuclear program, while Kim told a South Korean delegation to Pyongyang last week that he understands the need for Seoul and Washington to continue its joint drills.
In a call with Trump Friday, Xi appeared to welcome the prospect of talks.
"The two leaders welcomed the prospect of dialogue between the United States and North Korea, and committed to maintain pressure and sanctions until North Korea takes tangible steps toward complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization," an official White House readout said.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team