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North Korea, Japan and FTA to top agenda for President Xi's state visit to Seoul Updated: 2014-07-03 06:27:33 KST

North Korea, Japan and FTA to top agenda for President Xi's state visit to Seoul

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Seoul this week sends a strong message to the North Korean leadership.
It's practically the first time a Chinese leader, after taking office, is coming to South Korea before paying a visit to Beijing's traditional ally North Korea.
When the leaders of South Korea and China meet on Thursday, they will seek ways to substantially develop their strategic cooperative partnership, with a strong focus on the North Korea nuclear issue.

(Chinese: Reuters 2133EV)
"Pushing for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and solving issues on the peninsula through peaceful means has always been the Chinese government's established policy."

While Beijing will likely oppose recognizing North Korea as a nuclear weapons state, it's uncertain whether the two leaders will highlight more than "denuclearizing the Korean peninsula" in an expected joint statement following the summit.
The South Korean presidential office says Presidents Park and Xi will also discuss reviving the six-nation denuclearization dialogue with Pyongyang.

Also topping the agenda for the meeting of the two presidents will be the North's cozying up with Japan as of late, Tokyo's backtracking on a historical apology to Seoul and Japan's attempts to expand its military presence.

(Chinese: 12 PK)
"It's only natural the two leaders talk about Japan. They'll discuss Japan's push to deny historical facts."

Beijing, involved in a bitter territorial dispute with Tokyo, is expected to seek greater cooperation with Seoul on historical issues.
On the economic front, the leaders of Korea and China will agree to speed up negotiations for their free trade agreement and appeal to businessmen from both sides at an investors' forum on Friday.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
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