South Korea invited senior Chinese and Japanese officials for a rare trilateral meeting, regarded as an attempt to allay Beijing’s fears about Seoul and Tokyo’s growing security relations with the US and resurrect a long-stalled trilateral leaders’ summit.
Seoul has been strengthening ties with the United States and Japan while North Korea conducts regular nuclear testing and seeks stronger connections with countries such as Russia.
At a landmark summit in Washington, DC in August, South Korea, Japan, and the United States welcomed a “new milestone” in cooperation. Close allies have also conducted frequent military drills.
South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, Japanese Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takehiro Funakoshi, and China’s Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Nong Rong attended the meeting on Tuesday.
The three previously met with South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, who instructed them to “work closely together” and “produce tangible outcomes, which will produce benefits that can be felt by the people of the three countries.”
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, the three nations are close neighbors as well as significant cooperating partners, and strengthening trilateral cooperation serves their common interests.
The first three-way conferences took place in 2008, however they were canceled in 2019 because to the COVID-19 epidemic and a violent dispute involving Tokyo and Seoul over problems dating back to Japanese colonial control and World War II.
North Korea’s most important friend and trading partner is China. It recently dispatched senior officials to North Korea’s military parades.
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