Yoon and Li met in Indonesian capital Jakarta on Thursday, on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, a forum for strategic dialogue in the Indo-Pacific region, hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
“I ask China to fulfil its responsibility and role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Let us cooperate to ensure North Korea does not become an obstacle in the development of South Korea-China relations,” Yoon said, adding that Seoul’s ties with Washington and Tokyo would only strengthen to counter Pyongyang.
Li reiterated that China supported both sides on the Korean peninsula to advance reconciliation and cooperation, while committing to continuing to promote peace talks, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
Yoon also asked for Beijing’s help to revive a joint summit with Tokyo. The annual China-Japan-South Korea trilateral summit, first held in 2008, has been suspended since their last meeting in Chengdu in 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as friction between South Korea and Japan over historical issues.
Beijing said it would respond, according to information from Seoul.
“Let us cooperate to build a rules-based international order, which is the basis for the multilateralism and free-trade order that South Korea and China support,” Yoon was quoted as saying.
Li said the two countries should also speed up the second phase of China-South Korea free trade agreement negotiations, and explore potential areas of cooperation, such as hi-tech, green and low-carbon industries.
China is South Korea’s largest trade partner, accounting for a quarter of its export and import volume, according to the World Bank.
Li added that China was ready to work with South Korea to resist interference, meet each other halfway, and advance bilateral relations to reflect changing times, according to Xinhua.