South Korea, China to hold talks: Seoul

Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-In will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of next week’s APEC summit, Seoul said today, with the neighbours’ relationship strained by a US missile defence system.

Beijing has slapped a series of measures on South Korean firms and banned tour groups going to the country in moves seen as economic retaliation for the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Defense (THAAD) system.

China sees the installation, which Seoul and Washington say is to defend against missile threats from nuclear-armed North Korea, as a threat to its own military capabilities.

Xi and Moon will have a summit on the sidelines of the APEC gathering in Danang, Vietnam, Seoul’s presidential office said.

“The agreement to hold the summit is the first step… to restore bilateral cooperation and exchanges in all areas to a normal path,” said Nam Gwan-Pyo, a director of the presidential National Security Office.

It follows a similar meeting in Berlin in July ahead of the G20 summit.

China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner and its measures have heavily impacted some of the South’s biggest companies, including retail conglomerate Lotte, which provided a golf course used for the THAAD deployment, and carmaker Hyundai.