|Lee Hae-chan, head of ruling Democratic Party of Korea, center, holds hands with new presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min, right, and Kang Gi-jung, presidential secretary for political affairs, during their meeting at the National Assembly, Friday. / Yonhap|
By Lee Min-hyung
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to visit North Korea in April in an apparent move to play a part in the peace overtures on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's ruling party head said Friday.
"It is likely that Xi will visit the North in April and come to the South in May," Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, said in a meeting with new presidential secretaries.
"Leaders in Northeast Asia are looking to meet frequently in the first half of this year," he added without citing any sources. The peace momentum in the region will further improve after the second Washington-Pyongyang summit and inter-Korean summit, possibly scheduled in the near future, he said.
It is very important for South Korea to take advantage of the rare momentum for peace in a way to vitalize the local economy, Lee said. The remark came at a time when the two Koreas are on track to resume their economic engagements and a series of economic partnerships.
The remark was made Friday when new presidential secretaries paid a courtesy visit to leaders of the ruling and opposition parties, asking for cooperation from the National Assembly on state management.
Presidential chief of staff Noh Young-min and Kang Gi-jung, presidential secretary for political affairs, met with Lee, minor opposition Bareunmirae Party Chairman Sohn Hak-kyu and a group of ranking officials from opposition parties.
This came three days after Noh and Kang were named as the new ranking Cheong Wa Dae secretaries on Tuesday.
At the Assembly visit, they particularly focused on ways to partner with lawmakers on revving up the local economy.
"President Moon Jae-in urged me to meet as many businesspeople as possible in his first order," Noh said in a meeting with Sohn. Even if the President is widely known as a former human rights lawyer, he also understands how important the economy and business is for state management, Noh said.
"The President also underlined the need for me to play a more active role in building an ecosystem where businesspeople can enjoy their corporate management and continue to invest, as this will allow the local economy to grow," the new presidential chief of staff said.