President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in (L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (Source: yonhap)

Manila (VNA) – President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Moon Jae-in and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have reaffirmed commitments to quickly normalise the countries’ ties soured by the deployment of a US missile defence system in the RoK.

"As they say one must sometimes take a step back to take nine steps forward, I believe we will be able to quickly develop the countries' strategic cooperative partnership in the very near future if we work to turn our past difficulties into a chance and pool our wisdom," the RoK leader told Li in a bilateral meeting on November 13.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines. It came two days after Moon Jae-in had talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang city, during which both sides agreed to soon normalise bilateral relation in all fields and strengthen bilateral strategic dialogue.

Li said the Seoul-Beijing relations were already facing "active" or positive changes.

"I wish we will quickly put the China-Korea relations on the normal track through the joint efforts of the two countries," he said.

Seoul-Beijing relations have been at their lowest ebb due to China's protest against the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in the RoK.

For months, China enforced what many believed to be de facto economic retaliation against the RoK that included a ban on large group tours to the RoK and a range of non-tariff import barriers that effectively prevented shipments of many Korean products, such as cosmetics.

The two countries agreed to normalise their ties in a joint statement issued by their foreign ministries on October 31.-VNA