President Moon Jae-in during his visit to Japan on the occasion of the G20 Summit, held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Westin Hotel in Osaka for 40 minutes from 5:40 this afternoon. The two leaders had in-depth discussions on issues of mutual interest, focusing in particular on measures to step up cooperation for denuclearization and the settlement of peace on the Korean Peninsula; the revitalization of high-level exchanges, including the two heads of state; and ways to promote substantive cooperation between the two countries.
At today’s summit, Chinse President Xi shared with President Moon his impressions from a meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un during his recent visit to North Korea:
First, there is no change in Chairman Kim’s commitment to denuclearization.
Second, the Chairman is making efforts to advance the economy and enhance the quality of people’s lives according to a new strategic line and hopes that the external environment will improve.
Third, the Chairman wants to solve the related issue through dialogue and hopes with patience that a reasonable approach will be sought as soon as possible.
Fourth, the Chairman is willing to pursue reconciliation and cooperation with the South, and the dialogue trend on the Korean Peninsula will remain unchanged.
President Moon said the meeting between President Xi and Chairman Kim as well as the exchange of personal letters between the leaders of North Korea and the United States have boosted momentum for Washington-Pyeongyang talks. He also expressed hope that North Korea and the United States would resume dialogue at the earliest possible date.
Concerning the follow-up negotiations for the Korea-China FTA, President Moon said he looks forward to continued collaboration between the two countries as it is an opportunity to further strengthen the institutional foundation for bilateral economic cooperation. Noting that Korea depends heavily on international trade, President Moon said the nation actively supports an open, multilateral trading system.
In reply, President Xi said that the multilateral trading system is directly linked not only to the interests of the two nations but also to those of the whole world. He continued that it is important, for this reason, to engage in close consultations based on such an understanding, rather than to pursue a temporary agreement.
President Moon expressed his gratitude for the Chinese Government's endeavors to restore historic sites related to Korea's independence movement, including the headquarters of the Korean Liberation Army in Chongqing, China. President Xi responded that he would continue to cooperate as much as he could going forward.
With regard to the issue of repatriating remains from the Korean War, President Moon explained that a number of articles presumed to have belonged to Chinese soldiers are being unearthed during excavations on Arrowhead Hill, site of the last hard-fought battle of the War. The President added that they would be returned with the utmost decorum once they have been properly identified.
Expressing his gratitude, President Xi proposed that the two countries continue to work closely to promote friendship between their peoples.
The two leaders exchanged opinions about air pollution and other environmental issues. In that regard, President Xi said China has increased its efforts for environmental protection tenfold and will actively cooperate on the issue. President Moon said that since the peoples of both countries take the issue very seriously, the two countries being seen joining forces could, in itself, generate positive effects. Speaking of China’s abundant experience and advanced technologies, President Moon proposed working together to resolve the fine dust issue.
The two leaders agreed to consult with each other through their nations’ diplomatic channels regarding a future visit to Korea by President Xi.
In addition, the two leaders exchanged congratulatory remarks on China’s Qu Dongyu being elected Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. They also concurred on strengthening bilateral consultations at the multilateral level, including at the FAO, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
Today’s bilateral meeting was the first for both leaders at this G20 Summit.