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Top diplomats of S. Korea, Japan discuss upcoming trilateral summit with China in phone talks

May 22, 2024 - 20:21 By Yonhap
South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul speaks by phone with his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul spoke by phone with his Japanese counterpart, Yoko Kamikawa, on Wednesday and discussed an upcoming trilateral summit also involving China and other issues of mutual interest, Cho's office said.

During the 35-minute talks, Cho expressed hope that the three-way summit will serve as momentum for South Korea and Japan to further develop bilateral ties, as they have through the close communications between their leaders, Seoul's foreign ministry said in a release.

Kamikawa, in response, suggested the two countries continue cooperation for Seoul's successful hosting of the trilateral summit, according to the Seoul ministry.

South Korea, the host country, has yet to announce the date for the event. Japanese media reports have said the summit will be held from May 26-27.

Cho also shared the outcome of his recent visit to Beijing, during which he held bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The minister told Kamikawa that the visit was meaningful in that he had an "honest and candid" conversation with Wang and that they agreed to work together to stably manage the relationship.

In the phone talks, Cho and Kamikawa also discussed pending bilateral issues, Cho's office said, without giving further details.

The issues on the table likely included the row over Japan's apparent demand for LY Corp., the operator of the popular Line messaging app in Japan, to sell down its stake in the joint venture with South Korea's Naver Corp.

The issue drew concerns in South Korea as the move has been seen as Tokyo's attempt to reduce South Korea's influence in its market.

South Korea's political circles have expressed worries that it could have a negative impact on the improving bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, Japan's Kyodo News reported that South Korea and Japan are in talks to hold a summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday in Seoul on the sidelines of the trilateral summit.

The two leaders are expected to reaffirm cooperation between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo to deter North Korea's nuclear and missile program, the report said, citing a diplomatic source.