Moon's China Visit Overshadowed by Nanjing Commemorations

  • By Lee Kil-seong

    December 14, 2017 11:11

    President Moon Jae-in arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport on Wednesday to start a state visit to China, but Korean Ambassador to China Noh Young-min was not there to receive him.

    Noh was in Nanjing to attend an event marking the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre. Chinese President Xi Jinping and politburo chief Yu Zhengsheng were also there.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) enters a memorial hall to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, China on Wednesday. /EPA-Yonhap

    Instead, Moon started his visit by meeting a group of Korean nationals in Beijing.

    Chinese state media gave wide coverage to Moon's arrival, which comes after an unofficial boycott over the stationing on a THAAD anti-missile battery from the U.S. in South Korea,.

    CCTV said the future of relations depends on how Seoul keeps its pledges from late October -- to stay out of the U.S.-led missile defense system, deploy no additional THAAD batteries, and forge not trilateral military bloc with the U.S. and Japan.

    The Global Times quoted pundits as saying Seoul should not pin its hopes on THAAD to find a solution to the North Korean nuclear issue but focus on cooperating with Beijing. It added a complete recovery of Seoul-Beijing relations will be difficult until the THAAD has been pulled out, the government mouthpiece added.

    President Moon Jae-in (far left) and his wife Kim Jung-sook toast actor couple Choo Jae-hyun and Yu Xiaoguang at a hotel in Beijing on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    On Thursday, Moon meets Xi, followed by a state dinner which will be also attended by South Korean celebrities who are popular there, such as Song Hye-kyo and Choo Jae-hyun and her husband, Chinese actor and singer Yu Xiaoguang.

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