Presidents Park and Xi talk about ferry disaster, North KoreaUpdated: 2014-04-24 06:27:58 KST
In a phone conversation Wednesday, President Park Geun-hye thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his words of comfort to the victims of the ill-fated Sewol-ho ferry disaster, and expressed sadness that some Chinese passengers were still among the missing.
Xi said he was also deeply saddened by the fact that the majority of the missing and deceased were young students.
He added that his thoughts were with the victims and their families.
The Chinese president also said that Beijing will provide search-and-rescue assistance to Seoul.
The two leaders also talked about North Korea.
President Park urged her Chinese counterpart to dissuade Pyongyang from carrying out a fourth nuclear test, saying it would change the security paradigm in Northeast Asia.
Park said another nuclear test could start an arms race, and create a "nuclear domino" effect in the region.
North Korea carried out nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
President Park added that a fourth test could also hamper efforts to resume the stalled multi-national talks aimed at denuclearizing North Korea.
Xi reassured Park that both nations share the same interest of a denuclearized North Korea.
He said that Beijing would do its best to help maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.
The Chinese leader added that he would encourage dialogue between the related parties, and also expressed support for the trust-building process initiated by Park and for a peaceful reunification of the two Koreas.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
When Ms. Pak (박) wanted to talk to Japanese Prime Minister Abe a few months ago. She should have done it over the phone as well. Ms. Pak (박) became unnecessarily upset when Abe wouldn't meet her for a meeting.