【Catch the Lead】

Thursday marks25years since South Korea

and China normalized diplomatic relations.

The presidents exchanged

congratulatory messages

at a time when ties between the countries

have become increasingly strained.

Foreign Ministry officials in Seoul said Moon Jae-in and Xi Jinping hailed strengthening relations.

But President Xi said in his message he also

hopes to properly address recent differences.

China is angry about the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system.

Known as THAAD.in South Korea.

On Wednesday.an organization affiliated with the Chinese Foreign Ministry

hosted an anniversary ceremony in Beijing.

The leadership of the Communist Party did not attend.In 2012.the two sides jointly hosted several events celebrating the 20th anniversary.