SEOUL, South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to visit Tokyo Wednesday for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang that is widely expected to focus on the countries' joint efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear ambition.
The three-way talks follow Moon's historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un late last month, in which the leaders of the divided Koreas agreed to pursue complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae earlier said the three leaders of South Korea, Japan and China may issue a joint statement supporting the outcome of the April 27 inter-Korean summit held at the border village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.
"Cheong Wa Dae is pushing for a special statement of the leaders supporting the Panmunjom Declaration," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom has said, adding the Seoul-drafted statement, if adopted, will state the leaders' full support for the inter-Korean agreement, which also calls for efforts to formally end the Korean War.
Seoul and Pyongyang technically remain at war as the 1950-53 war ended only with an armistice. China is one of four signatories to the Korean armistice, along with the United States and the two Koreas, while Moon says improved ties between Japan and North Korea are also critical to ensuring lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the Northeast Asian region.
Wednesday's meeting marks a resumption of the summit diplomacy between the three nations that has been stalled since late 2015.
Both Seoul and Beijing have been reluctant to resume their summits with the Japanese leader amid what they believed to be Tokyo's attempt to whitewash its war atrocities and colonial rule of its Asian neighbors, including Korea.
Moon's trip to Tokyo will mark a South Korean leader's first visit to Japan since December 2011.
During his one-day visit, Moon will also hold a bilateral summit with the Japanese prime minister.
He will return home later in the day.
Source: Yonhap News Agency