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South Korea, China and Japan make plans for rare summit – SUCH TV

South Korean, Chinese and Japanese senior diplomats agreed on Tuesday that their national leaders should meet at the “earliest convenient time,” Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said after a rare meeting.

According to international media reports, the sides are seeking to reboot trilateral exchanges after regular annual meetings were put on hold because of strained relations and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Foreign Ministry of South Korea, which hosted the exploratory talks, said in a statement that specific dates for the leader talks remained under discussion.

Seoul has proposed that the summit should take place in late December. However, the ministry said the three countries’ top diplomats would initially meet “in a couple of months.”

Tuesday’s meeting was attended by Japan’s Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Funakoshi Takehiro, South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won and China’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nong Rong.

The trilateral meetings are partly intended to ease Chinese concerns about tighter relations between Japan and South Korea, who both agreed to end bilateral economic, legal and trade disputes.

Those disagreements stemmed from Japan’s 1910 to 1945 occupation of the Korean Peninsula, which has long soured relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

For Beijing, the meeting represents a chance to leverage trade ties, counter the strengthening of US ties with its two allies and strengthen communication on security and defense matters.

For Japan and South Korea, there is the prospect of avoiding conflicts and maintaining a stable security relationship with China. They are also seeking Chinese help in slowing down and possibly stopping North Korea’s nuclear development program.

The last summit was in 2019. The three countries had planned to hold a summit every year starting in 2008, but diplomatic issues and the pandemic got in the way.

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