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S. Korea, Japan, China finalizing date for Seoul summit: FM

By Ji Da-gyum

Published : April 8, 2024 - 18:25

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The flags of China, South Korea and Japan. (123rf) The flags of China, South Korea and Japan. (123rf)

South Korea, Japan and China are in the process of finalizing a date for a trilateral summit that has not taken place since December 2019, South Korea's Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul said Monday.

Cho confirmed this during his meeting with Secretary-General Lee Hee-sup of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, according to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry. The TCS is an international organization dedicated to fostering lasting peace, shared prosperity and cultural exchange among South Korea, Japan, and China.

"Minister Cho said the three countries are in the process of finalizing their schedules to expeditiously hold a summit for the first time in four and a half years," the Foreign Ministry said in a press statement.

The Foreign Ministry on Friday said the three countries "were currently discussing a date for the summit in Seoul, and the specific date will be announced as soon as it is determined."

The trilateral summit between South Korea, China and Japan is highly likely to take place in late May, as the three countries have reached a certain level of agreement regarding the timing of the event.

Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing had faced challenges in facilitating the summit. However, diplomatic sources indicate that consultations among the three capitals have recently gained momentum towards achieving their goal.

In November, the top diplomats of South Korea, Japan and China convened in Busan to delineate the timeframe and agenda topics for the summit. The meeting concluded without reaching a specific agreement on the summit, however.

The trilateral agreement to hold an annual summit was initiated in 2008 to promote regional cooperation. Since its inception, the trilateral summits involving South Korea, Japan and China have been convened eight times. The most recent gathering took place in Chengdu, China, in December 2019.

The upcoming ninth summit is scheduled to be hosted by South Korea, continuing the established rotation sequence of hosting, which follows the order of Japan, China and South Korea.