S. Korean special envoys visit China

Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:52 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- South Korea's newly elected President Park Geun-hye Monday sent four special envoys to China to discuss various issues including North Korea.

The delegation will spend four days in China and will meet with officials there, including Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Yonhap News Agency reported. The envoys also are expected to deliver a personal letter from Park to China's new leader, Xi Jinping.

North Korea, an isolated Communist country, is a close ally of China. Countries in the region, including South Korea and Japan, remain concerned about Pyongyang's recent provocations, including its launch of a long-range rocket last month in violation of United Nations sanctions imposed after the North's earlier nuclear and missile tests.

Park met with the special envoys prior to their departure and urged them to discuss North Korea issues, as well as South Korea's growing ties with China, Yonhap reported.

"China must play an important role in leading North Korea to make the right choice and transform itself," Park was quoted as saying.

The report said China's cooperation is also necessary to get the U.N. Security Council to impose new sanctions on North Korea for its Dec. 12 rocket launch.

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