Chinese Foreign Minister meets Japanese, Korean counterparts

BEIJING (AP) — The Foreign Ministers of China, Japan and South Korea met in Beijing yesterday as they seek to encourage progress on North Korean denuclearisation.

The trilateral discussion took place amid tense relations between Japan and South Korea over export controls.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China will work with the two countries to maintain multilateralism and free trade and commit to the region’s stability.

He met with Japan’s Taro Kono and South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha.

Ties between Japan and South Korea have been strained since Japan tightened export controls on key materials for South Korea’s semiconductor industry and decided to downgrade the nation’s trade status.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi holds hands of his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha and Japanese counterpart Taro Kono ahead of their trilateral meeting at Gubei Town in Beijing. – PHOTO: AP

Seoul accuses Tokyo of weaponising trade to retaliate for political rows over wartime history.

China and South Korea only recently began healing ties after Beijing exacted painful economic retaliation on South Korea over Seoul’s decision to host a powerful United States (US) missile defence system.

Wang met separately with Kono on Tuesday.

China and Japan are enjoying an unusually calm period in their often-turbulent relationship.

China is North Korea’s most important ally and has argued that steps by Pyongyang depend on security assurances from Seoul and Washington.