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South Korean Foreign Minister begins China visit


South Korean Foreign Minister begins China visit

South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul concludes a state visit to China today.

Cho’s visit marks the first visit of a South Korean foreign minister to China in over six years. It came shortly following a meeting on Thursday between US and Chinese special envoys on North Korea in Tokyo. The Tokyo talks followed a visit to China by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last month in which security issues related to North Korea were addressed.

Expect continued cooperation between the US, South Korea, and Japan to work with China in addressing security concerns related to North Korea. In recent months, Pyongyang has increased its testing of conventional military weapons and provided weapons and ammunition to Russia for its war against Ukraine. Pyongyang is likely doing this to increase its international relevance and encourage an increased commitment from Beijing to its security. As such, expect US, South Korean, and Japanese diplomatic efforts to focus on downplaying the strategic significance of North Korea’s recent activities. One way this may be achieved is by making a case that Pyongyang’s attempts to edge Russia on in its war are inconsistent with China’s official policy on Ukraine which calls in effect for a ceasefire and negotiations that will ultimately lead to a Russia-friendly settlement.

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