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China's Xi Jinping visits South Korea in snub to North

Published on Jul 3, 2014 3:53 PM
 
China's President Xi Jinping (centre) and his wife Peng Liyuan (second, right) are welcomed after disembarking from their aircraft upon arrival at Seoul Air Base on July 3, 2014. Mr Xi arrived in Seoul on Thursday, July 3, 2014, for a state visit seen as a snub to Beijing's traditional ally North Korea, whose nuclear weapons ambitions will dominate talks with South Korean leader Park Geun Hye. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - China's president arrived in Seoul Thursday for a state visit seen as a snub to Beijing's traditional ally North Korea, whose nuclear weapons ambitions will dominate talks with South Korean leader Park Geun Hye.

It was Xi Jinping's first trip as head of state to the perennially volatile Korean peninsula, and will mark his second summit with Park, who visited China last year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still waiting for an invitation to Beijing - a calculated rebuff that speaks to the strained relationship between Pyongyang and its historic and most important ally.

"No previous Chinese leader has put South Korea before and above the North like this," said Aidan Foster-Carter, a Korea expert at Leeds University.

 
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