Trump willing to try engagement with N.Korea, on conditions - Seoul

BEIJING, May 19 (Reuters) - China wants to put ties with South Korea back on a "normal track", President Xi Jinping said on Friday, but Beijing also urged Seoul to respect its concerns and resolve tensions over the deployment of a USA anti-missile system that it opposes.

In an announcement reflecting a shift in South Korea's attitude to dealing with Pyongyang under President Moon Jae-in, Seoul's unification ministry said the channel of communication might be recovered to ease tensions with North Korea.

During the meeting, Trump expressed hope for working closely together with Moon to strengthen the alliance and resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, Hong said.

Nonetheless, North Korea is pressing ahead with its nuclear and missile-development program, holding another ballistic missile test on Sunday - one that experts said could be a new type of missile.

Should the North want talks with the US, Tillerson said that Pyongyang should refrain from conducting nuclear or missile tests for a certain period of time so as to create the right atmosphere for talks, the official said.

The aide, Matthew Pottinger, Asia director on the National Security Council, met with Chung Eui-yong, an adviser to the new South Korean president, and other foreign-policy aides in Seoul, the capital.

Pyongyang, three days earlier, celebrated test of the "perfect weapon system" after the nation launched what it claimed as a new kind of intermediate-range ballistic missile system which can carry "a large-size heavy nuclear warhead".


"(President Trump) talked about sanctions on North Korea and cooperative relations with China.

Ties between the two countries have soured in recent months over the deployment of the powerful Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) shield in South Korea, which Beijing sees as a threat to its own military capability. South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, meets China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, Friday, May 19, 2017. He said the council is exploring many different avenues to proceed and "clearly sanctions are a way to go", but also diplomacy.

Speaking to Lee, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said there had been some "undeserved setbacks" in relations this year, in apparent reference to THAAD. It has retaliated against Seoul by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers.

Admiral Harry Harris, in discussing a stronger world response to North Korea's nuclear weapons program, stated, according to the Diplomat, "I firmly believe that the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Russia and every nation who considers itself to be a responsible contributor to global security, must publicly and privately work together to bring Kim Jong-Un to his senses, not to his knees". US President Donald Trump has recently made remarks to this end which have caused confusion in South Korea.

"China is willing to make efforts with all sides, including South Korea, to take even more practical efforts and uphold resolving the nuclear issue on the peninsula via dialogue", the ministry cited Wang as saying.

On Wednesday a pro-Pyongyang newspaper based in Japan urged Moon to forsake the security alliance with the United States. His envoy for Russian Federation will leave next week.


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