Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula with South Korea's new liberal President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, state television said, as Moon set about addressing a raft of problems posed by the North's defiance.
Moon Jae-in, the newly elected leader of South Korea, moved swiftly to mend ties with China on Thursday, announcing plans to dispatch a delegation to Beijing to resolve a festering dispute over the deployment of a U.S. missile-defense system in his country.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) missile system, aimed at intercepting attacks from North Korea, was made operational in South Korea last week.
"The resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue must be comprehensive and sequential, with pressure and sanctions used in parallel with negotiations", Moon's spokesman, Yoon Young-chan, quoted Moon as telling Xi.
China says the system does little to curb the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which Pyongyang has been pressing ahead with in defiance of US pressure and United Nations sanctions.
Moon also raised the issue of apparent economic retaliation against South Korean firms in China, he said.
North Korea's UN Mission said the organizers infiltrated "the terrorist" into the DPRK with several pieces of satellite communications equipment so he could be updated "with the operational code of terrorism against the supreme leadership, various terrorist methods of using biochemical substances, ways of bribing and hiring the one who would actually carry out the terrorist act and ways of entering the venue of the event". While some are anxious that Moon and Trump's summit might take place too soon, it's critical for the two leaders to quickly meet, share their opinions and find a compromise in light of the vacuum in the government that lasted for almost half a year and everything that has happened in the meantime. He has said he would be prepared to go to Pyongyang "if the conditions are right".More news: McGovern: Ex-AG Gonzales says firing could backfire on president
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As well as clouding efforts to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the THAAD deployment has also led to recriminations from Beijing against South Korean companies.
President Moon Jae-in in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, "The alliance has been the core of South Korea's diplomacy and security and it will continue to be".
North Korea said US and South Korean agents bribed and coerced a North Korean man into joining the plot which was foiled by its state security ministry.
Last week's KCNA report claimed that members of the Central Intelligence Agency and NIS worked with a North Korean citizen in a plot to "commit bomb terrorism targeting the supreme leadership", and that the plot was "recently uncovered and smashed". Conservative critics have anxious Moon's rise to power might cause a friction with Trump, who wants to increase pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North's largest trading partner and aid benefactor.
South Korea and the United States began deploying the THAAD system in March and it has since become operational.
China has denied it is retaliating against South Korean businesses.
President Moon said "South Korea wants to pursue the goal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula together with China, including resuming the six-party talks as soon as possible and other methods".