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Top diplomats of S. Korea, China, Japan to hold talks on resuming trilateral leaders' summit

By Yonhap

Published : Nov. 26, 2023 - 09:25

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Foreign Minister Park Jin departs from Incheon International Airport in Incheon, southwest of Seoul, on Nov. 14, to attend a ministerial meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco. (Yonhap) Foreign Minister Park Jin departs from Incheon International Airport in Incheon, southwest of Seoul, on Nov. 14, to attend a ministerial meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco. (Yonhap)

Top diplomats of South Korea, China and Japan were set to hold talks in the southeastern port city of Busan on Sunday, with discussions on resuming the long-stalled three-way summit of the three countries' leaders expected to be in focus.

The trilateral meeting among Foreign Minister Park Jin, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa also comes after about a four-year hiatus as the three neighboring countries seek to deepen the tripartite cooperation despite many pending bilateral issues.

Wang and Kamikawa arrived in Busan on Saturday.

Park is joining the two ministers the day after returning from a trip to London and Paris, where he accompanied President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Park will hold bilateral talks with Kamikawa and have separate talks with Wang in the morning.

Park will then host a luncheon meeting for his two counterparts, before the trilateral talks take place later in the day.

Sunday's trilateral talks are expected to center on ways to revive the three-way summit among the leaders of the three Northeast Asian neighbors.

The trilateral summit has not been held since the last one took place in China's southwestern city of Chengdu in December 2019.

The summit has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and a deterioration in Seoul-Tokyo relations over the issue of compensating Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Talks of reviving the summit gathered momentum amid a dramatic warming of the Seoul-Tokyo relations after South Korea said in March it will compensate the Korean victims on its own without asking for contributions from Japanese companies.

In a senior officials' meeting in late September, the three countries agreed to hold the tripartite summit at "the earliest convenient time."

The ministers are likely to discuss the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea's launch of a military reconnaissance satellite earlier this week, amid concerns over the growing military cooperation between Pyongyang and Moscow.

They are also likely to discuss efforts to promote three-way cooperation in forward-looking areas, such as sustainability and climate change, science and digital technologies, health and aging society, and people-to-people exchanges.

It will mark the first visit by Kamikawa since she took office in September. Wang last visited South Korea in September 2021. (Yonhap)