S. Korea, China FMs discuss end-of-war declaration, cultural issues in Rome

The top diplomats of South Korea and China met in Rome and discussed ways to revive the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and boost cultural ties, Seoul's foreign ministry said Saturday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong sat down with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for about 30 minutes Friday evening (local time). The two are on a visit to Italy, accompanying the leaders of their nations for the two-day Group of 20 (G-20) summit.

Among agenda items in the Chung-Wang talks was Seoul's proposal to declare a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War as a gateway to the full-fledged denuclearization process, according to the ministry.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in proposed again that the two Koreas and the U.S., with the possible addition of China, issue the declaration. Moon and his aides say it can be an effective way to build confidence and reinvigorate the peace process.

"The two ministers exchanged candid, in-depth opinions on how to cooperate for an early resumption of the Korean peace process, including the end-of-war declaration," the ministry said in a statement.

"They also shared views on the regional security situation and pending global issues and discussed measures for bilateral cooperation."

Wang said, "China supports all efforts and recommendations that are conducive to the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue," according to a report by China's Xinhua News Agency.

He said China expects dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea to resume in due course, and it will continue to play a constructive role for peace and stability on the peninsula, according to the report.

The two sides also agreed to step up efforts to promote exchanges in the cultural sector, as 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

South Korea has expressed hope for China's cooperation in promoting cultural content exchanges. Beijing has put regulations on Korean cultural exports and businesses since its 2016 decision to host a U.S. anti-missile system, called THAAD.

"Chung stressed the need to come up with detailed measures to facilitate exchanges in the culture and content sectors, including movies," the ministry said and added Wang agreed to continue work on the issue.

The ministers, meanwhile, noted that the neighboring countries have continued high-level exchanges despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed to expand such communication to further develop their "strategic cooperative partnership," it said. Their previous meeting was held Seoul in mid-September.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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