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S.Korea, China to hold '2+2' diplomatic security talks on Tuesday

IANS | June 17, 2024 04:36 PM

SEOUL: South Korea and China will hold "two plus two" talks of their senior foreign and defence officials this week, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a gathering expected to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin's likely visit to North Korea.

The South Korea-China diplomatic and security dialogue will take place in Seoul on Tuesday, led by First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hong-kyun and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong, Seoul's Foreign Ministry said.

Other participants are Lee Seung-beom, director general for international policy at the South Korean Defence Ministry, and Zhang Baoqun, deputy director of the Office of International Military Cooperation of China's Central Military Commission, Yonhap news agency reported.

"The two countries will exchange opinions on the issues of mutual interest, such as bilateral relations, the Korean Peninsula issue, and regional and global situations, " the Ministry said in a statement, without providing further details.

The talks draw attention as they will likely coincide with Putin's visit to North Korea widely expected to take place from Tuesday through Wednesday.

The talks also come as tensions have heightened on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's multiple launches of trash-carrying balloons across the border into South Korea in protest of the sending of anti-Pyongyang leaflets by North Korean defectors and activist groups.

South Korea responded by resuming the propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts toward North Korea.

Pyongyang has warned of further counteraction if Seoul continues the psychological warfare and leafleting.

The current security landscape and developments on and around the Korean Peninsula will likely be high on the agenda at Tuesday's talks.

The two sides could also discuss bilateral and other issues of common interests, including China's strategic competition with the US, the expanding military ties between Pyongyang and Moscow, and the cross-strait issues.

Holding the two plus two talks was part of the agreement reached between the two countries when President Yoon Suk Yeol met one-on-one with Chinese Premier Li Qiang for talks on the sidelines of the trilateral summit with Japan late last month.

They agreed to elevate the dialogue format to the vice-ministerial level.

The previous talks took place among the director generals in 2013 and 2015.

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