S.Korean foreign minister to visit China first

South Korea says Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong will visit China later this week for talks with his counterpart Wang Yi. The trip will be Chung's first foreign trip since he assumed the post in February.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry says Chung will visit the southern Chinese city of Xiamen on Friday and have talks with Wang on Saturday.

The ministry says the two will exchange opinions on bilateral relations and international affairs including the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea's conservative Joongang Daily notes that it is unusual for one of the country's foreign ministers to visit China ahead of a trip to the US.

The paper suggests that the ministry may be working to offset China's concerns that South Korea is leaning too far toward the US, and aiming to find a balance between the two powers.

Yonhap news agency took note of China's choice of venue in Xiamen which is close to Taiwan.

It says Beijing may be trying to signal to the US that it is cooperating with Seoul, given Washington's view that China is undermining Taiwan's democracy.