South Korea and China held working-level defense talks in Seoul on Thursday on ways to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and enhance bilateral cooperation, Seoul's defense ministry said.
During the 18th round of bilateral policy consultations, Lee Won-ik, director general of international policy at the Ministry of National Defense, and his Chinese counterpart, Song Yan Chao, exchanged their assessments of the recent security situation on the peninsula, according to the ministry.
They shared the need for support and cooperation by Beijing, as well as the international community, to denuclearize North Korea and establish a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, it added.
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang on the North's nuclear weapons program have been stalled since the breakdown of the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi in February 2019.
Also on the table were a variety of measures to deepen bilateral ties, such as the South Korean defense minister's visit to China and enhanced communication mechanisms between the two sides, according to the ministry.
"With a goal to help bring the bilateral relations a notch higher, the two sides agreed to make proactive efforts for strengthening cooperation in defense fields," the ministry said in a release.
Seoul and Beijing have vowed to push for the opening of additional communication lines between their navies and air forces.
Currently, Seoul and Beijing maintain one such line between their armies.
Bilateral military exchanges have recovered recently, after the serious deterioration of diplomatic ties following the installation of a U.S. missile defense system, called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), in South Korea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit South Korea in the first half of this year, according to officials. President Moon Jae-in invited Xi to the South during their summit talks in Beijing last month. (Yonhap)