South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is scheduled to start a working visit to China today to collaborate with President Hu Jintao on bilateral ties and the nuclear situation on the Korean Peninsula.
During his one-day trip to Beijing, Roh will also meet with Premier Wen Jiabao and National People's Congress Standing Committee Chairman Wu Bangguo.
A peaceful settlement to the nuclear escalation of North Korea and the regional and international issues of mutual concern will be high on the agenda at the Hu-Roh summit, Roh's spokesman Yoon Tai-young was quoted as saying by South Korean government gateway korea.net.
South Korea expects the summit to help strengthen discussions with China on restarting the stalled six-party talks at the earliest possible date, and to bolster Sino-South Korean cooperation to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to a document provided by the South Korean Embassy in Beijing.
Today's summit is also expected to further strengthen the "comprehensive partnership" agreed upon at the summit between the two leaders in July 2003, Yoon said.
Roh's trip to China comes four days after North Korea conducted a nuclear test, which prompted strong criticism worldwide.
During the summit, China and South Korea are expected to reach a consensus on the policy towards North Korea, said Piao Jianyi, a researcher of the Korean Peninsula issues at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"Both China and South Korea are key participants of the six-party talks, so their consensus will influence the measures the United Nations will take towards Pyongyang," Piao said, adding he thinks the talks will be "pragmatic."
The six-party talks, aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program, also included the US, North Korea, Russia and Japan.
Today's summit will be the third meeting between Roh and Hu, following Roh's visit to Beijing in July 2003 and Hu's visit to South Korea last November.
Roh is also expected to attend a ceremony on opening a new embassy house in Beijing this afternoon.
China and South Korea have maintained smooth cooperation in political, economic, trade, cultural, educational, science and technology, and the environmental protection fields.
They have also had good coordination in regional and global issues, Piao said.
(China Daily October 13, 2006)