South Korea, Japan, China to hold summit in Tokyo next week

London, May 1: South Korea, China and Japan will hold a trilateral summit in Tokyo next week, Seoul announced Tuesday, the latest move in a diplomatic whirlwind centred around North Korea.
The gathering on May 9 will bring together the South’s President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in the neighbours’ first such meeting for more than two years.
It follows a historic summit between Moon and the North’s leader Kim Jong Un last Friday. They vowed to pursue denuclearisation and a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, setting the mood for Kim’s much-anticipated face-to-face encounter with US President Donald Trump.
But analysts have urged caution, warning that similar previous pledges have come to nothing, and that the North has yet to make clear what concessions it is willing to make regarding its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
All three of the neighbours are deeply involved with North Korea — the South as its neighbour, key US ally Japan as a sometime target for its threats, and China as its key diplomatic backer and business partner.
“We want to confirm cooperation with President Moon ahead of a summit between the US and North Korea,” Abe said during a visit to the Jordanian capital Amman, describing the upcoming summit as “very significant”. “I want to thoroughly discuss how we can have North Korea walk on a right path, resolve the abduction, missile and nuclear issues and create a bright future,” he added, referring to the North’s abduction of Japanese in previous decades to train as spies. Friday’s summit, in which Kim and Moon exchanged smiles, handshakes and warm words in front of the world’s cameras, was a marked contrast to the tensions of last year. The North staged its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland as Kim and Trump traded threats of war and personal insults, sparking global security fears. (Agencies)