ABIDJAN, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday that South Korean President Moon Jae-in has underlined the importance of his country's relations with China, urging Seoul to take concrete measures to "pull out the thorn" of its relationship with Beijing.
Wang made the remarks in a press release during his ongoing visit to the West African country of Cote d'Ivoire.
Soon after being elected as president, Moon sent Lee Hae-chan, a member of National Assembly and former prime minister, to visit China as his special envoy earlier this month.
Wang said the senior official's tour reflects his president's emphasis on China and his willingness to improve the bilateral relations.
"We noticed that the new South Korean administration has brought new changes to the country's China policy, and its attitude towards China is also different from that of its predecessor," Wang said.
He further explained that Moon's government shows readiness to face squarely problems that hinder China-South Korea relations, rather than keep away from them; to understand China's concerns in protecting its legitimate interests; and to make active efforts to solve the issue concerning the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
"Whoever tied the bell on the tiger shall take it off," Wang noted, saying China wishes South Korea to take concrete measures to remove the obstacles in their bilateral relations.
Wang appreciated the stance of Moon's government which calls for applying sanctions and having dialogues at the same time, and sticking to solving the Korean Peninsula issue through peaceful means.
He said this stance is reasonable and sensible and reflects the direction advocated by UN resolutions.
"We have noted that the U.S. side recently has also voiced its readiness to approach Pyongyang," Wang said. "The situation on the Peninsula remains unstable as new developments keep emerging."
"We urge Pyongyang to refrain from doing anything that violates Security Council resolutions, and hopes all sides will remain steady and not affected by occasional incidents, stick to the overall direction of peninsular denuclearization, implement related Security Council resolutions and settle the issue through dialogue and consultation through peaceful means," said the Chinese top diplomat.