Top Diplomats of South Korea, China, Japan to Convene in Busan Amid Regional Tensions

SEOUL - Foreign ministers from South Korea, China, and Japan are set to engage in trilateral talks this weekend in Busan, amidst heightened regional tensions following North Korea's recent satellite launch.

According to Yonhap News Agency, Seoul's foreign ministry announced that Foreign Minister Park Jin will meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Sunday. The discussions will focus on enhancing trilateral cooperation and addressing various regional and global issues. The ministers will also deliberate on resuming the trilateral summit among the leaders of the three countries, which has been on hold since late 2019.

Park is scheduled to have separate bilateral talks with Wang and Kamikawa on Sunday, followed by a luncheon meeting, after which the three-way talks will commence.

This meeting comes in the wake of North Korea's successful launch of a military reconnaissance satellite, believed to have been achieved with Russian assistance. The recent actions of North Korea, including its suspected provision of weapons and munitions to Russia for the war in Ukraine, are expected to be central topics during the discussions. The ministers will also discuss efforts to resume the tripartite summit, which has been suspended primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strained relations between Seoul and Tokyo over historical issues.

As the current chair, Seoul is keen on hosting the summit before the end of the year. The last such meeting was held in Chengdu, China, in December 2019. The recent thaw in Seoul-Tokyo relations, particularly after South Korea's decision to compensate Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's colonial rule without seeking Japanese contributions, has renewed momentum for the summit. In a senior officials' meeting in September, the three countries agreed to convene the tripartite summit at the earliest opportunity.

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