China, Japan, South Korea agree on North Korea nuclear action | News | DW | 09.05.2018
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China, Japan, South Korea agree on North Korea nuclear action

In the first trilateral talks since 2015, the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea sent a powerful message of unity in the push to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. Trade deals were also on the table.

Watch video 03:54

Japan, China and S Korea meet after two-year hiatus

China, Japan and South Korea agreed Wednesday to work together to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

The trilateral summit in Tokyo also saw Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discuss regional free trade agreements.

Moon briefed his counterparts on his April 27 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In his opening remarks, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lauded the efforts of China and South Korea to get North Korea to the negotiating table.

"Using this momentum, we should carry on our work to push for the full, verifiable and irreversible abolishment of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction and every type of ballistic missile," Abe said.

Read more: South Korea's self-appointed 'patriots' protest against rapprochement with North Korea

Abe also said his country would normalize ties with North Korea if the nuclear and missile issues, along with that of the abduction of Japanese citizens, were solved comprehensively.

North Korea has admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens decades ago to train spies. Five have returned to Japan.

 A Japanese official also said the leaders had agreed to work towards a free trade pact among themselves and the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with Southeast Asian nations.

Read more: Sieren's China: A war of diplomacy on the Korean peninsula

Historic diplomacy

The talks come at a crucial time for the Korean peninsula, amid a flurry of diplomacy.

Firstly, they are sandwiched between the inter-Korean summit and a planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim.

Read more: Kim-Trump summit: is the world expecting too much from it?

The first summit between the three countries in almost three years also came after Kim made an unexpected visit to China's northern port city of Dalian for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And they took place on the day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Pyongyang on an unannounced visit to prepare for those looming US-North Korea talks.

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law/rt (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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