Selangor Journal
Chinese Premier Li Qiang (centre) arrives to attend the trilateral summit with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul, South Korea, on May 26, 2024. — Picture by REUTERS

East Asian nations reaffirm commitment to Korean Peninsula denuclearisation

SEOUL, May 27 — Leaders of South Korea, Japan and China reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula during their summit in Seoul today, hours after the North announced a satellite launch plan, reported Yonhap News Agency.

President Yoon Suk-yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Chinese Premier Li Qiang reached the agreement after the North notified Japan of its plan to launch a space rocket carrying a military spy satellite sometime before June 4.

“We reaffirmed that maintaining peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia serves our common interest and is our common responsibility.

“We reiterated positions on regional peace and stability, denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the abduction issue, respectively. We agree to continue to make positive efforts for the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue,” a joint declaration of the trilateral summit said.

During the session, Yoon and Kishida denounced the North’s satellite launch plan as a violation of the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) resolutions that ban its use of ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang said it will send three more satellites into space this year, following its first launch in November.

“The international community must respond firmly,” Yoon said during a joint press briefing at the Cheong Wa Dae former presidential home.

Kishida echoed his concerns, urging Pyongyang to cease its activities.

“If it proceeds, it will be a violation of UNSC resolutions. We strongly urge North Korea to cease this activity,” he said through a translator.

China’s Li called on all related countries to exercise restraint to mitigate tensions while avoiding directly mentioning North Korea.

“China has consistently worked to promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and is pushing for a political resolution to the peninsula issue.

“Relevant parties should exercise restraint and prevent the situation from worsening and becoming more complicated,” he said during the briefing.

Li, China’s number two official, also called for joint efforts to foster cooperation through “mutual respect and trust.”

“Korea, Japan, and China should properly handle sensitive issues and conflicts, consider each other’s core interests and significant concerns, and practice genuine multilateralism to jointly safeguard stability in the Northeast Asian region,” he said.

The trilateral session discussed ways to promote cooperation in six specific areas — economy and trade, sustainable development, health issues, science and technology, disaster and safety management, and people-to-people exchanges.

The leaders also agreed to institutionalise trilateral cooperation by holding regular trilateral summits and ministerial meetings.

Today’s session was the first three-way meeting since December 2019 after it was suspended for a prolonged period due to Covid-19 and historical disputes among the Asian neighbours.

After the meeting, they attended a trilateral business summit at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, engaging with business leaders of the three nations.

— Bernama

Top Picks

Fadhlina’s mother Siti Zalikhah laid to rest

PM visits Fadhlina’s family over her mother’s demise

King celebrates Father’s Day with children