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FM Cho discusses visit to Beijing in 1st phone talks with Chinese counterpart

Feb. 7, 2024 - 00:33 By Yonhap

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul speaks over the phone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Tuesday to discuss North Korea and other pending bilateral issues, his office said, the first such talks between the top diplomats since Cho's inauguration.

Wang Yi also extended an invitation for Cho to visit Beijing, saying he hopes to cooperate closely with each other in the future to further advance their bilateral ties, the ministry said in a press release.

Cho thanked Wang for the invitation and agreed to discuss via diplomatic channels his visit to China at a convenient time for both sides, it added.

The ministers shared their assessment of the regional security situation and discussed bilateral ties, such as supply chains, according to the ministry.

The two sides agreed on the need to strengthen "strategic exchanges and communication" at various levels, while Cho highlighted the importance of "minimizing the factors of conflict" and building trust between the two countries.

Cho also urged efforts to accelerate preparations for the next trilateral summit meeting between the leaders of South Korea, China and Japan as agreed at the foreign ministerial meeting in November last year, as he proposed follow-up consultations.

On North Korea, Cho expressed concerns over its tensions-escalating provocations and growing military ties with Russia, as well as its nuclear and missiles development banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

He called on Beijing to play a "constructive role" in bringing Pyongyang to dialogue and the path to denuclearization.

Touching on China's forced repatriation of North Korean defectors, Cho urged special attention from the Chinese government to help them move to a country of their choice.

Tuesday's phone talks marked the fifth of their kind since Cho took office early last month. Cho has held phone talks with his counterparts from the United States, Japan, Australia and Vietnam.