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Talks under way to set date for trilateral foreign ministers' meeting

Negotiations for a meeting of foreign ministers of South Korea, China and Japan are under way, but the timetable has yet to be determined, Seoul's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

A Japanese media report earlier said that the three countries are fine-tuning the timetable for the trilateral meeting, saying that it could take place either Tuesday or Wednesday next week in Tokyo.

Speculation spread that the three might not be able to get together within this month as territorial disputes between Beijing and Tokyo are deepening over islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

South Korea and China are also at odds over Seoul's decision to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery on its soil, drawing strong objection from Beijing which worries that it can be targeted by the missile defense shield.

"The three countries are currently in talks to set a detailed timetable for the trilateral meeting and we will disclose it as soon as it is set," the foreign ministry said.

Top agenda to be discussed at the meeting would be to make preparations for a summit of the leaders of the three countries.

The meeting would come ahead of the summit of Group of 20 countries to be held in China next month. (Yonhap)