S.Korea, China, Japan Agree To Expedite Preparations For Trilateral Leaders' Summit: FM - Eastern Mirror
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S.Korea, China, Japan agree to expedite preparations for trilateral leaders’ summit: FM

By IANS Updated: Nov 26, 2023 7:38 pm

BUSAN — South Korea, China and Japan agreed on Sunday to accelerate preparations to resume the long-stalled summit among the leaders of the three countries at an “earliest, mutually convenient” time, Seoul’s Foreign Minister Park Jin said.

Park made the remarks after holding the tripartite talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in Busan, the first such meeting to take place after a four-year hiatus.

“We, the three Ministers, reaffirmed the agreement to hold the summit, the pinnacle of the trilateral cooperation system, at the earliest, mutually convenient time and agreed to accelerate the preparations necessary for the summit,” Park told reporters at a press session after the talks.

“We will continue efforts to make sure that the holding of a summit will materialise in the near future,” he added.

Park said the three countries agreed to “restore and normalise” three-way cooperation, Yonhap news agency reported.

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 labour 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.

“It’s important to institutionalise trilateral cooperation so that it can develop into a stable and sustainable system,” Park said at the start of the talks in Busan.

To do so, Park added that he highlighted the need to explore substantive cooperation projects that “can be felt by the people of the three nations”.

“I look forward to working together to ensure that the trilateral summit of Korea, Japan and China, which is at the pinnacle of the three-way cooperation, will be able to take place at an early date,” he said.

On North Korea’s launch this week of a military spy satellite, Park emphasised that such provocations, along with ballistic missile launches, pose serious threats to peace and stability in the region.

The three sides agreed to continue communications at all levels to help resolve the North Korean issues, the South Korean Foreign Minister said.

At the talks, Park also asked for support from Japan and China for South Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan.

Wang pointed out that the three-way cooperation “has never been stopped” even during the global spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying there is “huge potential, strong demand and a wide range of resources”.

“China, Korea and Japan must play a positive role in regional and global development with a more honest attitude,” he said at the start of the talks.

Kamikawa said the trilateral cooperation has become increasingly important as it “greatly contributes to peace and prosperity” even at a time of many unprecedented challenges, such as climate change and artificial intelligence.

“Whether we can provide resilience with the power to overcome these challenges depends on how we can collaborate with ideas that are not tied to existing methods,” she added.

“I would like to return to this starting point and make today’s talks an opportunity to restart cooperation between the three countries,” she said.

Ahead of the trilateral talks, Park had separate bilateral talks with Kamikawa and Wang.

Wang and Kamikawa arrived in Busan on Saturday.

Park also hosted a luncheon meeting for his two counterparts.

It marks the first visit by Kamikawa since she took office in September. Wang last visited South Korea in September 2021.

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By IANS Updated: Nov 26, 2023 7:38:55 pm
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