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China and S Korea discuss trade and changing neighbours

China and S Korea discuss trade and changing neighbours
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Whilst South Korea’s president Lee Myung-bak is in China on a state visit, nuclear envoys from both countries will also meet to discuss stability in the region following the recent death of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il.

Lee and his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao will discuss a possible three-way trade agreement including Japan.

It is thought Beijing may try to allay Seoul’s fears over the relationship with the North Korea by using the prospect of increased trade.

China is a major ally and economic partner to North Korea, who recently saw a young and untested Kim Jong-un take up his father’s mantle. Beijing has publicly supported the new leader in Pyongyang, but has also urged stability and restraint.

Chinese trade with South Korea is worth more than 170 million euros more than with North Korea, but Seoul continues to highlight the lack of condemnation for North Korean aggression from Beijing.