President Moon Jae-in of South Korea said on Tuesday it would not be easy for reclusive North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal quickly, even if it wanted to, given its weapons programmes were so developed.
In October, South Korea and China agreed to end a year-long standoff over THAAD which had seen South Korean companies doing business in China suffer from retaliation against the system's deployment.
U.S. President Donald Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as North Korea races toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.
The two countries agreed to normalize their ties in a joint statement issued by their foreign ministries on October 31.
Moon arrived here Sunday for the regional summit, which also involved the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
China and South Korea have agreed to restore bilateral relations to a "normal development path swiftly", the foreign ministry in Seoul said in a statement in October. South Korean companies with Chinese customers had suffered due to backlash from China, which has vehemently opposed the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.
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China is South Korea's largest trading partner, buying about a quarter of the country's exports.
Abe and Xi smiled and nodded during the opening remarks of their own meeting, which Abe later described as frank, relaxed and friendly.
The Japanese and Chinese leaders also agreed to broad economic cooperation.
(STAND-UP) "But before that, a separate meeting between President Moon and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang here in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN-related summits will show whether the strongest steel is indeed forged in the hottest fire".
Moon's talks with the Chinese premier will further highlight the improvement in South Korea-China relations, Seoul officials have said. "I want to use all opportunities for dialogue because our two countries have great responsibility for the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world".