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Seoul and Beijing: War cannot happen on Korean Peninsula

By Jennie Oh
Seoul and Beijing: War cannot happen on Korean Peninsula
South Korean President Moon Jae In and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agree on four principles to pursue peaceful handling of North Korea crisis. Photo by Yonhap/UPI/

SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- War cannot be allowed on the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korean President Moon Jae In and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Thursday.

The two heads of state have agreed on four basic principles of acheiving peace and security on the Korean Peninsula after two hours of summit talks, E Today reported.

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Moon and Xi reaffirmed their stance that war is not an option as well as their common goal of denuclearizing the peninsula.

They also shared the view that all conflicts with North Korea must be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiations, and that the improvement of inter-Korean relations is a positive step in resolving the crisis.

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"China will strengthen communication and coordination with South Korea for the prevention of war and the push for dialogue," Xi said, according to CCTV.

While the leaders saw eye to eye on tackling the North Korea crisis, it seems their conflicting views may remain when it comes to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD battery on South Korean soil.

Xi said he believed Moon's visit is an important opportunity to "pursue a better road and improve relations based on mutual respect and trust." However, the Chinese leader also said that he hopes South Korea will "adequately handle the THAAD deployment and that both sides should ensure this kind of situation doesn't occur again," according to a South Korean presidential official.

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The THAAD missile defense system is considered one of the most advanced missile interceptors in the world with the ability to shoot down incoming North Korean missiles heading toward the South.

However, Beijing sees the deployment as a threat to Chinese security. As a show of protest, it began imposing retaliatory measures on South Korean businesses and banned group travels to the South from last year.

Seoul and Beijing decided to put the rift behind them in October to pursue normalized ties, after which economic relations began getting back on track.

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The two countries on Thursday signed an memorandum of understanding on follow-up negotiations on services and investment under their Free Trade Agreement.

They also signed MOUs on bilateral exchange as well as cooperation in health, environment, energy, green industry as well as animal hygiene.

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