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Yoon tells Japan, China’s leaders to further develop relations

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (left) Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (left) Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has told leaders of neighboring Japan and China to develop relations further. The leaders agreed to strengthen ties with South Korea.

On Friday morning, Yoon met with the Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming in Seoul, saying he is confident that Korea-China relations will develop further.

“China is Korea‘s largest trading partner, and we are China’s third-largest trading partner,” Yoon told Xing. “This year is the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and China. The diplomatic relations have been of great help to the people of both countries. It also helped develop the economy.”

In response, Ambassador Xing said, “(Korea) is currently the third-largest trading partner, but it could become the second-largest trading partner in the next year,“ adding that Korea “is an inseparable neighbor.”

Xing also delivered a congratulatory message to Yoon from Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“China and the two countries are close neighbors and important cooperation partners,” Xi Jinping said in the message. “Diplomatic relations have brought practical benefits to the people of both countries and made a positive contribution to promoting world peace, safety, prosperity and development.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations, which is important for bilateral relations,” he said. “China is willing to strengthen diplomatic relations with South Korea and deepen friendly cooperation to promote the stable and long-term development of strategic cooperation partners.”

Yoon also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the phone for 15 minutes at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

“Korea and Japan are important neighboring countries,” Prime Minister Kishida told Yoon, according to Japanese media outlet NHK. “Sound Korea-Japan relations are essential in protecting the principle-based international order and securing peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world.”

Kishida suggested to Yoon they “cooperate together” to improve Korea-Japan relations.

In response, Yoon said, “As Korea and Japan have many future tasks to work together in the future, such as security and economic prosperity in Northeast Asia, let’s work together to promote friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” according to the People Power Party.

The president-elect stressed the importance of resolving pending issues between the two countries reasonably and in line with mutual common interests. He said he expects South Korea, the US and Japan to further strengthen cooperation on issues on the Korean Peninsula.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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