China's Xi willing to put South Korea ties back on track

Chinese rappers warn S. Korea on US missile defense system

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system positioned by the US in South Korea has become a bone of contention between the two Asian countries.

"Your visit to China to step up the communication on important issues related to bilateral relations. shows President Moon and his administration have attached high importance to our ties".

Earlier in the day, Lee met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Xi's senior foreign policy adviser, and on Thursday with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

"With regard to the THAAD issue, I will do my best to sufficiently explain President Moon's stance (to the Chinese side)", Lee noted.

The bilateral relationship has seen great development and brought major benefits to the two nations since diplomatic ties were established in 1992, Wang said, noting the setback in relations since previous year is "unnecessary".

Ties between seoul and Beijing soured before Moon's election over the deployment of THAAD, which is aimed at guarding against threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.

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South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan (C) arrives at the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (unseen), in Beijing, China May 19, 2017. South Korea and the U.S. say it is necessary to guard against North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons activities that threaten South Korea, Japan, U.S. territories and possibly even the continental United States.

South Korean retailer Lotte, which provided the land for the THAAD deployment, has also been boycotted by Chinese customers and seen construction halted on an amusement park it was building in northeastern China.

The former South Korean prime minister was expected to meet with ranking Chinese officials, possibly including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Shares in AmorePacific 090430.KS , its largest cosmetics firm, were up 0.9 percent. Beijing has suggested calling on North Korea to stop missile and nuclear tests in exchange for the US and South Korea suspending military exercises in the region.

Thaad has been put into operation in the South Korean territory in case of a potential attack by North Korea, amid a recent escalation of tensions in the peninsula.

According to Moon's press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, the new president seeks "fundamental denuclearization through all possible means, including sanctions and dialogue, with the objective of the complete denuclearization of the North".

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