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China's Xi says willing to help end rift with South Korea

China's Xi says willing to help end rift with South Korea

A senior foreign policy adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of relations with South Korea on Friday as the two countries attempt to mend a rift in ties over the deployment of a US missile-defense system to guard against North Korean threats.

Xi also expressed China's willingness to properly deal with disputes and preserve the hard-won results that the two countries achieved in the past, as he began discussions with Lee Hae Chan, a former prime minister.

North Korea, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter US aggression.

Moon asked Xi to personally look into ways to resolve the issue, Yonhap said.

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However, Lee was quoted by Xinhua as saying that South Korea "understood China's major concerns and was ready to strengthen coordination with China to remove any obstacles to the development of bilateral ties".

Seoul and Washington have argued that the missile system is aimed at North Korean aggression, while China sees it as a threat to its own security because its radar can peer deep into northeastern China.

Haley said the global community wants to be able to support North Korea, but as long as it continues trying to grow its nuclear program with missile tests, North Korea would remain an "island".

"We believe South Korea will bring clear measures to improve relations", Wang said. It has retaliated against Seoul by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers.

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Wang on Thursday reiterated calls for its dismantling.

South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In dispatched Lee to Beijing in the wake of his election victory last week.

It was the first time a Chinese leader had called a South Korean president to offer congratulations for an election win, Moon's spokesman said.

South Korea has complained that some of its companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the THAAD deployment.

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In what both governments hoped was a major step forward, the two countries had agreed in 2015 to a deal created to end a row over Korean "comfort women" forced into sex slavery for Japanese soldiers during the World War II.