South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun will pay a working visit to China on October 13 at the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao announced today.
This is the second time for Roh to visit China since he took office in 2003. Roh paid a state visit to China for the first time in July 2003, during which China and South Korea agreed to build an all-round cooperative partnership.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay an official visit to China from October 8 to 9 at the invitation of Premier Wen Jiabao, according to the spokesman.
"China and Japan reached a consensus on overcoming the political obstacle to the bilateral relationship and promoting the sound development of bilateral friendly and cooperative relationship," Liu said.
The Sino-Japanese relations have been soured by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead, including 14 WWII class-A war criminals, are honored.
The leaders of the two countries halted exchange of visits since Koizumi paid a homage to the shrine in 2001.
In another development, Liu said China hopes that North Korea must keep calm and restraint on the nuclear test issue.
Liu's comment came after the North Korean Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that it would conduct a nuclear test in the future.
"We also hope that all relevant parties must address their concerns through dialogues and consultations instead of taking actions that may intensify the situation," Liu said.
The Chinese side has always maintained a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and safeguarding peace and stability of the peninsula and Northeast Asia through the six-party talks process.
In yesterday's statement, North Korea said it will "in the future conduct a nuclear test under the condition where safety is firmly guaranteed."
North Korea "will never use nuclear weapons first," the statement added.
(Xinhua News Agency October 4, 2006)