ajunews Thursday,29 February 2024

Seoul and Beijing foreign ministry directors meet in Shenzhen to discuss S. Korea-China relations

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 20, 2023, 11:25 Updated : December 20, 2023, 14:09
Choi Yong-joon Director of Northeast Asian Affairs at the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs left poses for a photograph with Liu Jinsong Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a director-level discussion held in Shenzhen Guangdong Province China on December 19 Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Choi Yong-joon, Director of Northeast Asian Affairs at the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (left), poses for a photograph with Liu Jinsong, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after a director-level discussion held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, on December 19. [Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
SEOUL -- Foreign ministry directors from Seoul and Beijing met in China's southern city of Shenzhen to discuss South Korea-China international relations and other international issues that revolve around the Korean Peninsula. The meeting took place amid a thawing atmosphere between the two countries since Seoul-Beijing relations became frozen after the election of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in May 2022.

After taking office, President Yoon aligned South Korea's diplomatic stance on Asia-Pacific matters with that of Washington's. The South Korean president engaged in a series of meetings with leaders of other countries to promote the southern port city of Busan as the host city for the World Expo event in 2025.

Meanwhile, Beijing took a stronger diplomatic stance and claimed that the two countries' relations could face difficult and challenging times and such a situation was not caused by China in May 2023. However, Beijing left a channel open for discussion by insisting Seoul adopt a deeper understanding of the situation and work together with Chinese counterparts to improve South Korea-China relations.  

According to South Korea's foreign ministry, the ministry's Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau Director Choi Yong-joon, met with his Beijing foreign ministry counterpart, Department of International Economic Affairs Deputy Director-General Liu Jinsong, in China's southern city of Shenzhen on December 18.

The two directors engaged in broad discussions on matters regarding the relations between Seoul and Beijing and other issues that revolve around the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's foreign ministry said. The two directors agreed to improve communication and cooperation in various sectors.

"This meeting was held under the consensus that there is a need to continue communication through diplomatic channels and maintain a smooth flow," a foreign ministry official told reporters during a press briefing on December 20.

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