Chinese Premier Arrives in S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji came to the South Korean capital on Tuesday for his first visit since the two countries opened diplomatic ties in 1992.
Zhu, who was to meet with South Korean President Kim Dae-jung on Wednesday, planned to discuss boosting ties and consult with South Korean leaders about communist North Korea.
During his trip, Zhu also was to meet with Prime Minister Lee Han-dong and visit a semiconductor plant.
South Korea wants to nurture its trade ties with China. Bilateral trade has boomed in eight years of diplomatic relations and reached $32.5 billion last year.
South Korea also wants China to work with North Korea to ease tensions on the divided Korean Peninsula. It hopes China and the United States will mediate in talks aimed at signing a peace treaty with North Korea.
China remains North Korea’s last major ally after the collapse of communism in the former Soviet bloc. China and North Korea, two communist holdouts, fought together in the 1950-53 Korean War against South Korea and U.S.-led U.N. forces.
The war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The border between the two Koreas remain the world’s most heavily armed.