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South Korean and Chinese diplomats meet amid North Korean tensions


South Korea and China foreign ministers meet for talks expected to focus on North Korea and other regional security issues

SEOUL, South Korea – The foreign ministers of South Korea and China met on Wednesday for talks that are expected to focus on North Korea and other regional security concerns, two days after North Korea claimed to have tested a newly developed cruise missile.

North Korea said on Monday it had successfully tested the missile twice over the weekend and hit targets 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away, a range sufficient to strike all of Japan, including military bases. American. It was North Korea’s first weapons launch in six months, and it came at a stalemate in its nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong was due to call on China to play a more active role in persuading North Korea to resume nuclear talks at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Seoul on Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s talks, some observers said Wang would also seek to strengthen ties with South Korea to try to prevent it from turning too much to the United States amid intense rivalry between the two biggest. world economies. They say China is worried about a US plan to recalibrate its foreign policy in the face of growing challenges posed by China and Russia after its troops withdrew from Afghanistan.

South Korea is struggling to find a balance between the United States and China. It is a key traditional ally of the United States where approximately 28,500 American troops are deployed to deter possible aggression from North Korea. But its export-oriented economy relies heavily on China, its largest trading partner.

North Korea’s launch of cruise missiles is not in violation of UN Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from conducting ballistic missile tests. Some experts say that North Korea could have chosen a cruise missile, not a ballistic missile, so as not to put its ally China, a member of the UN Security Council with veto power, in a situation hard.

Experts say North Korea wants more support from China as its struggling economy has been hit even harder by pandemic-related border closures, US-led sanctions and natural disasters .

Wang has also recently traveled to Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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ABC News

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