The Latest on South Korea and China agreeing to talks to improve ties (all times local):

11 a.m.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says top diplomats from China and South Korea have discussed the U.S. missile-defense system in a statement that also indicated China's interest in improving ties.

The statement released Tuesday did not mention a summit between the two countries' leaders that a South Korean official said would be held on the sidelines of an annual regional forum in Vietnam next week.

The ministry's statement repeated China's objection to the anti-missile system being deployed in South Korea but said both nations attached great importance to their relationship and were willing to push forward on developing a cooperative partnership.

The development on THAAD comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping consolidated his already considerable power at a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress earlier this month.