China's Xi calls for S. Korea ties to get back on track

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The U.S., which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its neighbor.

"We hope South Korea's new government realizes the problems that we have encountered and take effective measures to remove the obstacles so that the relationship between the two countries can be on a good developmental track as soon as possible". Over in Tokyo, South Korea's special envoy to Japan, Moon Hee-sang, met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday.

For his part, Lee said Moon asked him "to express his thanks to President Xi for his message of congratulations after our election".

"You either support North Korea or you support us, because that's what it comes down to", Haley said at a news conference.

But critics of the deal in South Korea said Japan did not go far enough, and earlier this year Tokyo recalled its ambassador over a statue symbolising "comfort women", which was erected outside its consulate in the South Korean city of Busan.

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, told a visiting South Korean envoy on Friday that he hoped South Korea could respect China's major interests and concerns and appropriately resolve differences over the THAAD missile system issue.

"This is the desire of our two peoples but also our governments".

Cho added that South Korea and the US agreed during a visit to Seoul by Trump's national security advisers on Monday to formulate a "bold and pragmatic" joint approach.

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Moon said he understood China's position but noted many South Korean people and businesses in China were suffering from China's apparent economic retaliation against the deployment, asking Xi to personally look into ways to resolve the issue.

However, Xi's comments helped push up the shares of several South Korean companies that rely on the spending of Chinese tourists, whose visits have fallen sharply amid the THAAD dispute.

Park Byeong-seug, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party and head of the South Korean delegation, later noted the phone conversation between Moon and Xi appeared to have "triggered a mutual consensus on repairing South Korea-China relations".

THAAD is aimed at guarding against threats from nuclear-armed North Korea, but China fears it will upset the regional security balance.

President Trump says he's willing to make peace through dialogue with North Korea if conditions are right.

Abe said the early dispatch to Tokyo from Seoul of the special envoy after President Moon established his administration was a sign of cordial relations between both countries.

Moon in a phone call with Abe last week said that most Koreans can not accept the agreement.