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Park, Xi to attend business forum

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, were to attend an economic forum on Friday and meet with hundreds of business leaders from both nations, officials said.

The bilateral economic and trade cooperation forum comes on the second and last day of Xi's state visit to Seoul. On Thursday, the two leaders held summit talks and warned North Korea against conducting another nuclear test.

Friday's forum is expected to be attended by more than 420 business leaders from both sides, including Park Yong-maan, head of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce group.

Xi is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the forum.

Ahead of the forum, Xi delivered a lecture at Seoul National University, one of South Korea's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, and met with South Korea's parliamentary speaker Chung Ui-hwa.

During the lecture to some 500 students, professors, politicians and other dignitaries, Xi reaffirmed China's opposition to North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"I oppose the existence of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and call for the two Koreas to resolve nuclear and other bilateral issues through dialogue and negotiations," he said.

The remark is widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program.

Apparently mindful of what many see as Japan's increasingly militaristic moves, Xi also recalled that Korea and China fought alongside each other to counter Japan's past aggressions.

During Xi's meeting with Chung, the parliamentary speaker proposed that South Korea, China and Japan establish a joint committee to study the countries' shared history with the aim of publishing a joint textbook.

Xi expressed support for the proposal, saying he believes such a committee would help establish an accurate account of the three countries' shared history.

Following the meetings, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, attended a special luncheon hosted by President Park.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/140704/park-xi-attend-business-forum