China's Xi says willing to help end rift with South Korea

South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, passes on a hand-written letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Chinese Presi

South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, meets China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Friday, M

South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, meets China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, Wednesd

South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, left, meets China's President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing,, Friday

China's President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan (unseen) at the Great Hall of the People,

South Korea's special envoy Lee Hae-chan, center, arrives at the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with China's President Xi Jinpi

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping has said he's willing to help ties with South Korea return to a "normal track" amid a rift over Seoul's deployment of a high-tech U.S. missile-defense system to guard against North Korean threats.

Xi's remarks came in a meeting Friday with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, who was dispatched to Beijing by South Korea's new president on a mission to reopen contacts and seek a way out of the current impasse, which has hit South Korean businesses hard.

Chinese official media quoted Xi as saying China is committed to resolving any issues through dialogue and coordination.

Ties between the countries have plunged over the deployment in South Korea of a U.S. missile defense system called THAAD.