UPDATE : 2019.7.19 FRI 15:18
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S. Korean president to meet Chinese premier over bilateral ties

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday for bilateral talks that are widely expected to focus on ways to improve the countries' ties.

The Moon-Li meeting is set to start at 5:30 p.m. in Manila, where they have both been taking part in a regional forum organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The meeting follows Moon's bilateral summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Danang, Vietnam last week.

The South Korea-China summit, the first of its kind in four months, marked what many called the start of normalizing ties between the two countries.

The Seoul-Beijing relations quickly soured after the deployment of the THAAD U.S. missile defense system in South Korea earlier this year.

After months of Chinese protest and discussions, the countries' foreign ministries issued a joint statement on Oct. 31, saying the countries will put their relationship back on the right track.

Xi said his summit talks with Moon marked a "good start and a new beginning."

Moon's talks with the Chinese premier will further highlight the improvement in South Korea-China relations, Seoul officials have said.

"President Moon and President Xi may have discussed ways to improve the countries' overall relations, while the meeting with Premier Li will likely focus on details of ways to do so," an official from the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said earlier.

Moon and Li are also scheduled to attend the ASEAN Plus Three summit on Tuesday for discussions on ways to improve their countries' relations with ASEAN. The annual forum involves the leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries, as well as those of South Korea, China and Japan.

The South Korean president arrived here Sunday as part of his three-nation Southeast Asia trip that earlier took him to Indonesia and Vietnam.

Hwi Won  edt@koeapost.com

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