The heads of diplomacy of South Korea, Japan and China reaffirmed on Sunday the need for a trilateral summit “as soon as possible”, the South Korean foreign minister announced after a meeting common.
Park Jin, Yoko Kamikawa and Wang Yi met in Busan, the large southern port of South Korea, at a time when Beijing is worried about the strengthening of ties between Tokyo and Seoul with Washington.
It also comes a few days after the placement in orbit of its first military spy satellite by Pyongyang, which caused the suspension of the military agreement concluded five years ago between the two Koreas in an attempt to ease tensions on the peninsula.
A summit between South Korea, Japan and China was the main topic on the agenda of the meeting.
The ministers agreed that “this summit, the pinnacle of the trilateral cooperation system, should be held as soon as possible, as soon as a convenient time for all three is found,” Mr. Park said.
“We have agreed to accelerate the necessary preparations,” he added without mentioning a specific deadline.
Leaders of the three countries have not met since 2019, partly due to historical issues between Seoul and Tokyo, which colonized the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.
One of the main issues remains that of women forced to become sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II.
According to historians, up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, but also from other Asian countries including China, were kidnapped or forced.
On Thursday, a South Korean court ordered Japan to compensate 16 of the women.
During a bilateral meeting with her South Korean counterpart before the start of the meeting, the Japanese minister called the ruling “extremely regrettable” and asked Seoul to correct this “violation of international law.”
For his part, the South Korean minister asked his Chinese counterpart that Beijing play a “constructive role” in the denuclearization of North Korea, calling the recent North Korean satellite launch a serious threat to his country’s security. .
Beijing is Seoul’s main trading partner, but also Pyongyang’s main ally and economic supporter.
Wang said China “has always played and will play a constructive role” in easing the situation in the region, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Faced with the growing threat from his northern neighbor, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is seeking to strengthen ties with Washington and has also undertaken to bury the hatchet with Japan.