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S. Korea, China, Japan to Hold 10th Trilateral Talks

Posted October. 09, 2009 07:41,   


The government will adopt a joint statement with China and Japan after a series of summits with the two Northeast Asian neighbors Friday through Saturday in Seoul and Beijing.

President Lee Myung-bak will hold talks with Japanese Prime Minster Yukio Hatoyama at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul this morning. The two leaders will devise measures to strengthen bilateral relations based on a balanced perspective of history and discuss North Korea’s nuclear program.

Hatoyama’s visit to South Korea is his first since taking over as prime minister, though both leaders held their first summit in New York Sept. 23.

President Lee will explain to Hatoyama his “grand bargain” on North Korea’s denuclearization and ask the Japanese leader for support.

Attention is on if Hatoyama will provide a detailed response to the president’s invitation to Japanese Emperor Akihito to visit South Korea.

President Lee and Hatoyama will also discuss suffrage for ethnic Korean residents in Japan.

After making a toast with makgeolli, or traditional Korean rice wine, at a luncheon, the two leaders will separately leave for Beijing for a tripartite summit with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Saturday.

The three countries have held the summit yearly over the past decade. They will adopt a joint statement on measures to strengthen trilateral cooperation.

A high-ranking official in Seoul said, “The status of the three nations has been strengthened on the global stage. The GDPs of South Korea, China and Japan combined account for a sixth of world GDP and all three are members of (the Group of 20 nations). The most important agenda is tripartite cooperation over the past decade and measures to strengthen trilateral cooperation.”

South Korea will host next year’s tripartite summit.

President Lee also plans a separate bilateral meeting with Wen, who visited North Korea last week for talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. The president will explain the feasibility of his “grand bargain” and suggest measures to encourage North Korea to return to the six-party nuclear talks.