Seoul, Sep 26 (EFE).- South Korea, Japan and China on Tuesday agreed to hold a trilateral summit at the “earliest convenient time,” after a four year gap mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as other issues.
The decision to revive the trilateral talks was taken during a meeting in Seoul between South Korean deputy foreign minister Chung Byung-won, Japan’s senior deputy foreign minister Takehiro Funakoshi, and China’s assistant foreign minister Nong Rong.
“The three countries agreed to hold a trilateral summit at the earliest convenient time and to promptly convene a meeting of the foreign ministers from each country to prepare for the summit,” South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said at a press conference, according to Yonhap news agency.
Seoul has proposed six key areas for discussion in the upcoming trilateral meetings, including people-to-people exchanges, science and technology, digital initiatives, sustainable development, and climate change.
As the current chair of the trilateral cooperation mechanism, South Korea is pushing for the summit to be held before the end of 2023.
During a meeting on Monday, South Korean foreign minister Park Jin urged the three officials to collaborate closely and “to produce tangible outcomes, which will produce benefits that can be felt by the people of the three countries.”
The once-regular trilateral summits, which initially began in December 2008, have been suspended since 2019 due to disputes between South Korea and Japan over forced labor compensation rulings, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing tensions between Japan and China concerning Beijing’s military activities in the region.
There has been a noticeable rapprochement in relations between Seoul and Tokyo since conservative Yoon Suk Yeol was sworn-in as the president of South Korea in May 2022. EFE