Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

The Strategy Behind South Korea's Outreach to Southeast Asia

The Strategy Behind South Korea's Outreach to Southeast Asia

Moon's comments followed similar ones from South Korea's foreign minister over the weekend.

Photos from the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, People's Daily, show Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean Moon Jae-in at the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam on November 11 and 12.

Remarks by Xi reflect ongoing Chinese concern over the missile defense systemChina's decision to raise the THAAD deployment during the South Korea-China summit puts the spotlight back on an issue assumed to have been settled during deliberations on October 31. "We have, in turn, explained THAAD is not aimed at China but only towards curbing North Korea's nuclear and missile provocations", he said. "Just as South Korea stands firm on the comfort women issue and continues to deal with it separately even while seeking to fix relations with Japan, this only means China is using a two-track strategy on THAAD". Moon's remarks were made available by the presidential Blue House.

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Duterte took steps to thaw frosty relations with China after he won the presidency past year . "So if I can help you, let me know".


Lian Degui, a professor with the School of Japanese Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, said Trump's visits to China, Japan and South Korea sent a signal that the United States needed cooperation among the three countries to tackle the North Korean nuclear issue. Xi reportedly said he would try to visit, and that in case he is unable to attend he will send a high-level delegation instead.

The draft adopted a harsher tone toward Pyongyang compared to the previous statement in 2016, which expressed "serious concern" over the North Korea issue.

By agreeing on Moon's visit to Beijing in December, the first step is now seen as having been achieved.

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According to Norio Maruyama, press secretary for the Japanese foreign ministry, Japan had discussed North Korea at meetings with other state leaders to "deliver the message that we consider important at this time".

The South Korean president also has a series of one-on-ones lined up on the margins of the main events starting with one with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Monday afternoon and another with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the following morning.

The official added, "There was talk of improving relations in all areas, and there was already mutual understanding reached beforehand that this includes the companies and tourism [affected by China's retaliation], and the two leader's perception was in line with this".

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In his bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Moon noted that "Korean wave is popular in the Philippines", with 1.5 million Korean tourists visiting the Philippines annually.

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