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China ready to normalise ties with S.Korea: Xi

24 May 2017

Chinese tourist numbers to South Korea plunged by two-thirds in April after Beijing banned tour groups over Seoul's deployment of a United States missile defence system, official statistics showed.

South Korea and Japan have agreed to resolve a row over a 2015 deal on Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women in a future-oriented manner, President Moon Jae-in's special envoy said Saturday.

"North Korea is our enemy but its people are our brothers and the country will be our partner for reunification in the future", said Lee Nae-young chief of National Assembly Research Service (NARS).

Moon has indicated that he is prepared to review the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) anti-missile system that the Chinese believe will interfere with the regional balance.

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Lee met separately with other senior Chinese officials, who had more forceful words for the South Korean visitor.

"Stopping the deployment of THAAD is the bottom line of China", the newspaper said.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), meanwhile, chose the day after Moon's election to announce it had established a Korea Mission Center "to harness the full resources, capabilities, and authorities of the Agency in addressing the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea".

South Korea has complained that some of its companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the Thaad deployment.

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"We did not mention scrapping the agreement, but made it clear that most South Koreans can not accept the deal", Moon told reporters, upon arrival in Seoul. Shares in Amore Pacific, its largest cosmetics firm, were up 0.9%.

The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its ally and neighbour.

The aggressive face that has been maintained by North Korea with its weapon development program is definitely a matter of concern for the entire world.

Moon has not been trying to lull anyone into a false sense of security, and recently warned that conflict was likely with North Korea along the land and sea border, despite efforts to make peace.

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Before leaving Seoul for Beijing, Lee said Moon could meet Xi as early as July at a Group of 20 summit in Germany, while a separate meeting could also be possible in August.

China ready to normalise ties with S.Korea: Xi