| Sunday`s summit between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping was a multi-purpose meeting where the two leaders discussed bilateral issues and sent messages to North Korea and Japan. At the meeting, the Chinese president said he had given "direct instructions" for the construction of a memorial hall in Heilongjiang Province, China in honor of Korean independence fighter Ahn Jung-geun and expressed gratitude for Seoul`s plan to repatriate the remains of Chinese soldiers killed during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
The South Korean president responded by saying that the construction of the memorial hall for Ahn is "a good object symbolizing the South Korea-China friendship and cooperation."
The construction of Ahn`s memorial hall and the repatriation of Chinese soldiers` remains were valuable fruits for the future ties between the two countries. Their leaders took the initiative to solve the challenging issues that involve Japan and North Korea. If the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers are repatriated to China on Friday, Chinese people will realize closer ties between the two neighbors. North Korea will likely find it uncomfortable over the close ties between South Korea and China that fought against each other during the Korean War.
At the beginning of the meeting with Park, Xi also noted that a monument in honor of the Korean Liberation Army`s barracks in China will be completed soon. It can be said that the remarks are a warning to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s denial of wartime atrocities and history distortion. As Abe`s denial of past history and wartime sex slavery for the Imperial Japanese Army caused the cooperation between Seoul and Beijing over history issues, Tokyo shot itself in the foot.
The North Korean nuclear issue has always been on the agenda for the four summits between the South Korean and Chinese presidents in just one year. Reaffirming Beijing`s stance on not tolerating Pyongyang`s nuclear possession, Xi stressed the need for leading Pyongyang in the direction that the international community wants. China sent its chief nuclear negotiator We Dawei to Pyongyang to discuss ways to resume the six-party denuclearization talks but failed to produce desired results. As the chair of the six-party talks, China is responsible for making results with action, not rhetoric.
It is essential for South Korea to cooperate with four powers surrounding the Korean Peninsula to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue and to join forces with China and other countries victimized by Japan`s colonial rule to correct Japan`s attitude on history issues. In order to achieve reunification of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul needs to manage the situation in order to prevent China from mistaking the South Korea-the United States-Japan cooperation as an anti-Chinese front. With the trilateral summit with Washington and Tokyo following the summit with Beijing, Seoul should remember that it cannot afford to neglect neither side.