Ministerial trilateral talks first in 3 years

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Ministerial trilateral talks first in 3 years

The first trilateral meeting in almost three years with the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea is scheduled for Saturday in Seoul, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday.

The talks launched in June 2007 on Korea’s Jeju Island and were held annually until they fizzled out after the last meeting in Ningbo, eastern China, in April 2012 amid heightened tensions in the region over historical and territorial issues.

In the seventh round of talks, Korean Minister Yun Byung-se is set to speak with his Chinese and Japanese counterparts Wang Yi and Fumio Kishida, respectively.

“The foreign minister will evaluate current cooperation among the three nations and how to advance cooperation in the future,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kwang-il said.

Last November, President Park Geun-hye expressed her hope during an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting in Myanmar that the three leaders would sit down for a trilateral summit following talks with their foreign ministers.

The leaders of the three nations have yet to hold a trilateral summit.

Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping have also not yet held bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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