South Korea, China, Japan pledge to ramp up cooperation in rare summit

Leaders from South Korea, China and Japan reaffirmed their goal of a denuclearised Korean peninsula Monday, during a rare summit at which they also agreed to deepen trade ties.

The summit brought together South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Seoul for the countries’ first trilateral talks in nearly five years, partly due to the pandemic but also to once-sour ties.

While North Korea was not officially on the agenda, hours before the leaders met Pyongyang announced that it would soon put another spy satellite into orbit—a move that violates rafts of UN sanctions barring it from tests using ballistic technology.

At a joint press conference, Yoon and Kishida urged North Korea to call off the launch, with the South Korean leader saying it would “undermine regional and global peace and stability”.

But China, North Korea’s most important ally and economic benefactor, remained notably silent on the issue, with Premier Li not mentioning it during the briefing.

“One key factor will be the weather conditions for the launch.”

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