South Korea announced that it is boosting funds related to initiatives with China. The move comes after North Korea's attack on an island last month.
Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is pressing once again to bolster its relationship with China after North Korea’s attack on a small South Korean island in the Yellow Sea last month, in what appears to be a retreat from its defense-heavy approach.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced that it is increasing its annual China-related budget next year to 3 billion won ($2.6 million), a nearly eight-fold increase from this year's 390 million won ($340,000). The government is hoping that the increase will send a clear message to China that after a period of tense relations – which included a series of naval drills that irked Beijing – it is ready to talk.
The new budget will cover task forces that tackle anti-Korean sentiment in China and a new China Center that will bring together academics and politicians to craft stronger diplomatic policies. Additionally, a bilateral strategic dialogue between the two nations will advance from the vice-ministerial to the ministerial level.
Page 1 of 4