President Moon Jae-in will make a two-day trip to China later this month for a Korea-China-Japan trilateral summit, Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.
According to the presidential office, Seoul is also in talks with Beijing and Tokyo to arrange bilateral summits during the visit.
Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung announces the plans for trilateral summit with China and Japan on Tuesday. Yonhap
The trip is scheduled for Dec. 23 and 24, with the trilateral summit to be held on the second day in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
“President Moon will discuss practical cooperation among the three countries, and political situations in Northeast Asia and other key regions, and international matters with Premier Le Keqiang and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung said.
“Furthermore, President Moon will assess the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and discuss trilateral cooperation for complete denuclearization of the peninsula, and establishment of permanent peace.”
According to a Cheong Wa Dae official speaking on condition of anonymity, the three governments are in talks for possible bilateral summits on the sidelines of the event.
The official declined to comment on whether trade friction with Japan will be discussed.
Japan has applied trade restrictions on South Korea in retaliation against the Supreme Court siding with Koreans who were forced into working for Japanese firms during Japan’s occupation of the peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
Seoul responded by announcing that the military intelligence sharing agreement with Japan will be terminated. The agreement’s end was halted at the last minute, with Seoul and Tokyo agreeing to hold trade talks.
The official also declined to comment on the extent to which the North Korean situation will be discussed at the event, saying only that Seoul is monitoring the situation closely.
With the year-end deadline set by North Korea fast approaching, Pyongyang has upped the pressure on Washington to resume dialogue. The North has revealed that it conducted an “important test” at a missile research facility, prompting concerns from the international community.
The North’s actions have also reignited the war of words with the US, with President Donald Trump warning that North Korea stands to lose everything should Pyongyang resume provocations.
The North has hit back, saying it has nothing to lose. It warned Trump to refrain from provoking the North Korean leader.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)