A special envoy of South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in China on Thursday for discussions on a summit between the countries' heads of state and ways to contain North Korea. Trump and Moon have both also warned that a major conflict with the North is possible.
South Korea's new President Moon Jae-In dispatched Lee to Beijing in the wake of his election victory last week.
Lee first met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi after his arrival in the Chinese capital, and they shared their opinions. Whereas Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba posed an immediate threat that required a quick and decisive response, North Korea remains unable to launch a direct nuclear attack against the U.S. with its current arsenal, allowing the USA to continue its slow-burning strategy of "strategic patience" despite a recent spike in tensions.Pyongyang's latest missile test, however, indicates that North Korea is making significant progress towards obtaining a nuclear weapon able to strike the United States mainland. South Korea's presidential envoy said Thursday that Trump is willing to solve the nuclear crisis with its northern neighbor through engagement.
In what appeared to be a strategic move during election season, President Moon took a rather ambiguous stance on Thaad's deployment here, not quite rejecting the missile shield yet expressing regret over its delivery process.
South Korea's Ministry of National Defense scrambled to announce there was no way Seoul was paying, citing a bilateral agreement that the USA would cover the bill.
The United Nations Security Council met behind closed door on Tuesday to discuss tightening sanctions on North Korea.
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Before leaving Seoul for Beijing, Lee said Moon could meet Xi as early as July at a Group of 20 summit in Germany, while a separate meeting could also be possible in August.
"We believe South Korea will bring clear measures to improve relations", Wang said.
"This is the desire of our two peoples but also our governments".
President Trump says he's willing to make peace through dialogue with North Korea if conditions are right. Trump said last month he wanted South Korea to pay the $1 billion cost of Thaad's deployment in Seongju County, sparking waves of panic here.
Moon has sent envoys to the United States, China, Japan and the European Union this week in what the government calls "pre-emptive diplomacy".
Moon in a phone call with Abe last week said that most Koreans can not accept the agreement.