South Korea, China and Japan are planning to hold a high-level meeting in Seoul next week to discuss three-way cooperation, including setting up a trilateral summit of their leaders.
The meeting, set for September 26, will bring together South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Chung Byung-won, Takehiro Funakoshi, Japan’s senior deputy foreign minister, and Nong Rong, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, Seoul’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Lim Soo-suk, spokesperson for the ministry, said the three sides will discuss various matters related to their trilateral consultative body, and review the current state and future direction of cooperation between the three countries, Yonhap news agency reported.
A ministry official told reporters the meeting will also discuss matters related to a possible trilateral summit that has been suspended since 2019.
“The trilateral summit is currently under discussion with the aim of holding it within the year,” the official said, adding the three sides could hold a foreign ministerial meeting to coordinate a date for the summit.
Three-way summits among the regional neighbors, first held in December 2008, were suspended after the eighth gathering in December 2019 following a dispute between South Korea and Japan over forced labor compensation rulings and the pandemic.
Talks on the need to revive tripartite summit diplomacy have surfaced following a thawing of the frozen ties between Seoul and Japan since the launch of the current South Korean administration under President Yoon Suk Yeol in May of last year.