South Korea to attend China's Silk Road summit amid diplomatic rift

South Korea to attend China's Silk Road summit amid diplomatic rift

Chinese President Xi Jinping extended the invitation to the Belt and Road conference in Beijing during a telephone call on Thursday with new South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, told a briefing on Friday.

While South Korea, China and Japan all worry about North Korea, ties between South Korea and China have been strained by South Korea's decision to install a U.S. anti-missile system in defence against the North.

But Beijing said the system will spy on its territory and strongly criticised its deployment and the relations between the two countries have deteriorated over the issue, BBC reported.

The call also touched on a controversial 2015 agreement over compensating South Korean women forced into sexual slavery by Japan's military in World War II, Moon's office said.

The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the start of a year ago in its quest to develop a way to deliver a nuclear warhead to "imperialist enemy" the US.

Yoon said that President Moon highly evaluated India's participation in global sanctions against the North.

Abe also said he'd like to host a trilateral summit in Tokyo with his Chinese and South Korean peers as soon as possible, and hold a bilateral meeting with Moon as well.

That contrasted with its one-sentence Korean-language report of the election of Mr Moon's conservative predecessor Park Geun-Hye in 2012, which did not mention her name or her support.

Park, who was ousted and faces trial over a corruption and influence-peddling scandal, favored a tough stance against the North, including punishing United Nations economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

Washington says the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system will play a vital role in curbing the missile threat from Pyongyang, but Beijing says that the system's radar affects its security.

Beijing - the North's biggest trade partner and diplomatic protector - is infuriated over the deployment of a United States missile defence system in the South, and Seoul is embroiled in a row with fellow U.S. ally Tokyo over wartime history. "And I think we've handled it very well, very firmly".

China hopes South Korea's government attaches importance to its concerns and takes real steps to promote the healthy and stable development of ties, Xi said.

"We hope for Russian Federation to play a constructive role in order for North Korea to stop with its nuclear provocations and go the way of denuclearisation", Moon was citing as saying to Putin in the 20-minute conversation.

Some of those goals would collide with those of the Trump administration, which is seeking to place more economic sanctions on North Korea to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

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