Xi Pushes Moon Over THAAD

  • By Jeong Woo-sang, Kim Jin-myung

    July 07, 2017 11:47

    Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday pushed President Moon Jae-in again to "remove" a a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery the U.S. recently stationed in southern Korea.

    Xi met Moon on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany and called on Korea to "remove obstacles to the improvement and development of bilateral relations," according to Xinhua News. This has been Beijing's habitual code for THAAD.

    Beijing fears that the powerful radar that comes with the THAAD will be used to spy on its military movements. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "The THAAD issue was discussed but remains unresolved. President Moon repeated his position and the two sides agreed to refer to the issue as an 'area of disagreement.'"

    Moon said after their meeting that the "area of disagreement" has not been resolved. Instead, the two leaders agreed to tackle the issue in future talks between lower-ranking officials.

    When Moon asked Xi to ease up on an unofficial boycott of Korean business in China, the Chinese president said he has no choice but to consider the "interest and concerns" of his people.

    President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping talk in a hotel in Berlin on Thursday. /Yonhap

    The two leaders spoke for more than an hour rather than the 40 minutes originally scheduled. They agreed that UN Security Council resolutions are necessary in getting North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons and missile programs and that dialogue is the best option to resolve the crisis.

    But they disagreed about the need for further sanctions. Moon called on China to do more to help resolve the nuclear crisis, but Xi was quoted by a Cheong Wa Dae official as saying that its "blood ties" to North Korea remain fundamentally unchanged despite the strengthened relationship with South Korea.

    Xi was referring to Chinese troops coming to the aid of North Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. He said that Beijing is trying its best to convince Pyongyang to halt its provocations and added that international criticism of its apparent lack of effort is "unacceptable."

    The Cheong Wa Dae official said China considers the nuclear crisis a problem between North Korea and the U.S. and that Washington should stop trying to pass the blame on Beijing.

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