August 28, 2015 11:14
President Park Geun-hye meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next month, which could pave the way for a trilateral summit with Japan later this year. The government hopes to set in motion a new diplomatic cooperation framework to deal with North Korea that increases South Korea's role.
The leaders of the three countries agreed back in 2008 to hold annual trilateral summits, but they have been on hold since 2012 due to Japan's drift to the far right.
Japan has been pushing for a resumption, but China and South Korea were put off by Tokyo's persistent historical revisionism and resurgent land-grab ambitions.
If China agrees to resume the trilateral summits, the next meeting could take place around October.
A Foreign Ministry official said, "The summit could provide an opportunity for Seoul and Tokyo to improve ties and offer a chance to discuss ways of dealing with North Korea."
One former intelligence official said, "Japan is very proactive when it comes to dealing with North Korea. This could create more leverage for [South] Korea in dealing with the North."
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