North Korean soldier defects to the South at Joint Security Area: JCS

North Korean soldier defects to the South at Joint Security Area: JCS

The summit between Moon and Xi took place for about 40 minutes at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Moon also asked the Chinese leader to visit the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea next year, and Xi responded, "I will make efforts to visit South Korea".

The man came to South Korea three days ago and planned to enter the communist state for political purposes, said the Yonhap report, which gave no further details and couldn't be independently confirmed.

They reached the agreement on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam, according to Cheong Wa Dae. "It did not go beyond the scope of the joint announcement on October 31".

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Da Nang, Vietnam, Nov. 11, 2017.

Xi was quoted as saying it would be "new beginnings and a good start".

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"In this sense, Beijing may have decided that it had made its point over THAAD and that its interests would now be better served by improving relations with Seoul in order to help deal with the North Korea crisis in the coming months and push back against USA strategic designs on the region in the coming years", the writers summed up.

An alternative interpretation is that China had had enough of South Korea portraying the October 31 deliberations both domestically and internationally as if China had yielded on the THAAD issue and resigned itself to the deployment.

The first payoff is that the agreement offers assurances from Seoul that it recognizes China "strategic position in the region". "Despite South Korea promising to amend its relationship with China, we need to see how Seoul is going to handle the THAAD [issue]".

The upshot, according to the authors, is that "South Korea agreed to at least symbolically distance itself from a US-led strategy of containing China". "President Xi's reputation is on the line here", said Kim Jun-hyeong, a professor at Handong Global University.

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