|Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his speech at the commemorating conference on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese army entering North Korea to resist the U.S. army, at the Great Hall fo the People in Beijing, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. AP|
South Korea reiterated Saturday that North Korea's invasion triggered the Korean War, after Chinese President Xi Jinping cast the 1950-53 conflict the previous day as the fight against U.S. "imperialist invaders."
In a statement, the foreign ministry said that the "historical fact" about how the war broke out cannot change, while stressing the international dispute about the cause of the conflict has already been put to an end.
The statement came as critics rebuked the Seoul government for failing to speak up against Xi's characterization of the war, which started as the North invaded the South on June 25, 1950, backed by China and the then Soviet Union.
"Debates on the outbreak of the Korean War and related matters have already ended internationally, and such clear historical facts cannot change. Our government is paying keen attention to related developments and is having necessary communication with the Chinese side on matters of our interest," the ministry said.
"That the Korean War broke out due to North Korea's invasion is an undeniable historical fact," it added.
On Friday, the Chinese president delivered a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of China's participation in the war, which Beijing refers to as the fight to "Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea."
In the speech, Xi highlighted that "70 years ago, imperialist invaders fired on the doorstep of a new China" in reference to the American troops that fought under the U.N. banner for the defense of South Korea. (Yonhap)