Wang, a top Chinese diplomat, visited South Korea and Japan as both US allies prepare for change under the new US administration.
South Korea and China have agreed to co-operate on stalled talks on North Korea’s nuclear program following high-level talks and to prepare for a visit to Seoul by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi late Thursday night and expressed “thanks” to Beijing for its “constructive role and cooperation” in the Korean peace process.
“Our government will not stop efforts to end the war on the Korean Peninsula and formally achieve full nuclear and lasting peace with the international community, including Wen,” Van was told during the meeting.
In response, Wang said that the issue of the Korean Peninsula should be resolved through talks, according to Xinhua News Agency.
He said that the achievement of denuclearization on the peninsula could be achieved in a “one-step and simultaneous” manner to prevent “war and anarchy”.
Wang arrived in the South Korean capital late Wednesday after a two-day visit to Japan as Asian governments prepare for a possible change in US policy under the incoming Biden administration.
South Korea and Japan are both US allies and host US military bases.
Finding a common ground
Earlier on Thursday, Wang also held talks with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wa, during which they discussed Xi’s visit, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement after meeting with Kang that “the two sides agreed to actively communicate so that the Covid-19 situation for President Xi’s visit remains stable and conditions are created.”
China and South Korea have traditionally been skeptical of each other, but in recent years there has been a common concern about economic cooperation and a common concern about North Korea’s haste to develop nuclear weapons.
Wang said his visit was to highlight the importance of the efforts of “strategic partners” to work to promote peace and stability.
“The Covid-19 crisis has not defeated the citizens of our two countries,” Wang said through an interpreter, as if his meeting with Kang had begun.
“Bilateral relations are showing their strength and more enthusiasm.”
Outgoing US President Donald Trump has said he hopes to make progress in pressuring North Korea to give up its weapons program in exchange for lifting sanctions, but talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have stalled since then.
Kang also raised the issue of the upcoming US administration during his talks with Wang, who expressed “hope” for North Korea’s own policy, a South Korean official who declined to be identified.
The official said China reiterated its opposition to a US missile defense system set up in South Korea in 2017.
South Korea and the United States have said the system is designed to counter the threat posed by North Korea’s missiles, but China fears it will undermine its security interests.