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S. Korea, Japan, China Kick-Start Stalled 3-Way Cooperation at Seoul Summit

Written: 2024-05-27 15:27:05Updated: 2024-05-27 15:42:36

S. Korea, Japan, China Kick-Start Stalled 3-Way Cooperation at Seoul Summit

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: President Yoon Suk Yeol, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met for a trilateral summit in Seoul on Monday. The three sides agreed to regularize their three-way meeting but displayed differences on how to deal with North Korea.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: The leaders of South Korea, Japan and China held their first trilateral talks in almost four and a half years, reviving their stalled three-way dialogue.
Following the summit in Seoul on Monday, President Yoon Suk Yeol and his counterparts held a news conference, introducing their joint declaration.
[Sound bite: President Yoon Suk Yeol (Korean-English)]
"We three agreed to regularly hold trilateral meetings and institutionalize trilateral cooperation while supporting the activities of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat. We formed a consensus that active cooperation between the three countries contributes to peace and stability in the region. Also, we have reaffirmed that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is our responsibility and beneficial for the three countries."

As the three sides agreed to revitalize cooperation in less-contentious areas such as trade, the environment and people-to-people exchanges, Chinese Premier Li Qiang made it clear that China’s approach to North Korea issues remains at odds with the approaches of South Korea and Japan.
[Sound bite: Chinese Premier Li Qiang (Chinese-English)]
"China has always been committed to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula and promoting a political settlement on the peninsula. We hope the parties concerned will exercise restraint and prevent any further complication of the situation.” 

The meeting came in the wake of North Korea’s announcement of its plans to launch a spy satellite in the coming days, to which Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President Yoon expressed opposition during the news conference.
[Sound bite: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (Japanese-English)]
“On the international situation in the region, I first stated that, in response to North Korea's notification of the launch of a satellite, if the launch takes place, it would be in breach of UN Security Council resolutions and I strongly called for a halt to the launch.”
[Sound bite: President Yoon Suk Yeol (Korean-English)]
"If North Korea carries out the launch despite the warnings from the international community, I believe the international community must respond sternly." 
The launch of the Yoon administration in 2022 led to tighter relations among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan against China. 
Amid heightened tensions with North Korea, experts say Yoon now needs to hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and find more effective ways to contain North Korea.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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