SEOUL - Top South Korean and Chinese officials in charge of foreign affairs and security held their first strategic talks on Monday on an array of bilateral and regional issues including the North Korean nuclear conundrum.
South Korea's National Security Office chief Kim Jang-soo and China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi met at Cheong Wa Dae for the talks designed to enhance bilateral high-level communication on security and diplomacy.
Their meeting was arranged after Presidents Park Geun-hye of South Korea and Xi Jinping of China agreed during their summit in June to institute strategic dialogue between their senior officials.
The Park-Xi agreement came as cooperation on political issues including North Korea's nuclear adventurism has been lackluster due in part to a lack of mutual trust, despite the two countries' agreement in 2008 to elevate their ties to a strategic partnership.
Before the talks between Kim and Yang, the Chinese official was greeted by President Park at Cheong Wa Dae.
"I believe your talks with South Korean officials will serve as a good chance to strengthen mutual trust and our friendship," said Park.
Park also expressed her expectation for Chinese leaders' promise to reform the economy made during the recent plenary meeting of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party.
"(Through the meeting), a blueprint for a reform process was put forward, which bears great significance for Chinese people as well. I hope Chinese dreams, through reform, can quickly be realised."
Expressing gratitude for Park's remarks, Yang said the bilateral relationship would enter a new phase of evolvement through shared efforts.
Yang also delivered Xi's messages to Park, in which he wished to visit Seoul in the near future and hoped that Park would attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit slated to take place in Beijing next year.