Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing to ‘accelerate’ preparations for trilateral summit

South Korea, Japan, China foreign ministers reaffirm need for trilateral summit

The top diplomats of South Korea, Japan, and China met on Sunday in South Korea for their first trilateral meeting in over four years. The foreign ministers of the three countries discussed the need to hold a trilateral summit at the “earliest” possible time, as reported by the South Korean foreign minister, Park Jin.

The meeting in the city of Busan comes at a time when Beijing has expressed concerns over the deepening security ties between Tokyo, Seoul, and Washington. It also follows North Korea’s successful launch of its first military spy satellite, prompting the suspension of a military accord between the two Koreas.

The South Korean foreign minister emphasized the importance of holding the summit at the earliest mutually convenient time and mentioned the need to expedite necessary preparations. However, no specific timeframe was provided for the summit.

Diplomatic and historical disputes between South Korea and Japan have hindered the holding of leaders’ summits. Legal disputes persist over Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean peninsula from 1910-1945.

During the meeting, the Japanese foreign minister expressed regret over a recent South Korean court ruling that ordered Japan to compensate 16 women for forced sexual slavery during World War II. She called for Seoul to take measures to correct the “violation of international law.”

China, a key trading partner for South Korea, was also part of the discussions. South Korean officials urged Beijing to play a constructive role in denuclearizing North Korea, highlighting the serious threat posed by Pyongyang’s satellite launch.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has been working to strengthen ties with the United States and improve relations with Japan, both close allies of Washington. He has made efforts to address historical tensions and move forward in bilateral and trilateral cooperation.

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