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Xi speech addresses historical issues

Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken up historical issues between Japan and its neighbors in a speech in South Korea intended, apparently, to build a united front against Japan.

Xi delivered the speech at a university in Seoul on Friday.

He said that Japan, under militarism, waged a brutal war against China and South Korea, annexed the Korean Peninsula and seized Chinese territories.

He said the people of China and South Korea suffered tremendously, had their land destroyed and shared the same fate in the war with Japan.

On Thursday, a joint news conference between Xi and South Korean President Park Geun-hye made no mention of historical issues with Japan.

South Korea is likely to have considered the position of the United States, which has shown concern over South Korea working closely with China on the issues.

In his speech, Xi also commented on North Korea's nuclear development. He said China hopes to improve ties between the two Koreas and solve issues on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue.

Jul. 4, 2014 - Updated 04:37 UTC