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Special envoy team arrives in China to strengthen bilateral ties

Special envoy team arrives in China to strengthen bilateral ties

Posted January. 22, 2013 04:45,   


The first group of special envoys sent by President-elect Part Geun-hye began its four-day official schedule in Beijing on Monday. The four-member delegation is led by Kim Moo-sung, former head of the ruling Saenuri Party’s election strategy office. The remaining three members are Reps. Shim Yoon-joe and Cho Won-jin and Han Seok-hee, an international relations professor at Yonsei University.

They arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport on a Korean Air flight in the morning and held talks with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun as their first official event.

In a news conference at the airport, Kim said, “President-elect Park emphasized the importance of trust in all things. We came to China to build trust.” When asked if this visit is to restore strained bilateral relations under the Lee Myung-bak government, he said, “The word recovery doesn’t seem to fit here. We came here to further improve our already good relations.” And on why China was the first country to send special envoys, Kim answered, “It’s not about which country is more important for (South) Korea between the U.S. and China. It’s just that China is geographically very close to (South) Korea and a lot of exchanges are being made.”

On North Korea, he said, “I believe both the (South) Korean people and the government want improvement of relations with the North. Seoul and Pyongyang need dialogue, but steps need to be taken considering public sentiment.”

Before sending the delegation, President-elect Park told the envoys Friday to explain the need for China to play an important role in helping North Korea to make the right decisions for change.”

The delegation will hold a meeting with new Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday at the Great Hall of the People to deliver a personal letter from President-elect Park. Also scheduled are talks with Vice-chairman Chen Zhili at the Standing Committee of National People`s Congress; State Councilor Dai Bingguo; Minister Wang Jiarui of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee; Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun; and other high-ranking officials on strengthening bilateral ties and cooperate in dealing with Pyongyang.