The leaders of South Korea, Japan and China seem to be on the same page towards North Korea.
In the first trilateral meeting of this kind since 2015, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed their support for the Inter-Korean Summit and the Panmunjom declaration, and pledged to continue cooperation with Seoul on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Seoul and Beijing had been reluctant to hold such a summit in recent years because of territorial disputes with Tokyo, but recent developments with North Korea seem to have brought the three nations together, as explained by Professor Song Se-ryun speaking to Arirang News on Wednesday.
"We have a much larger issue of the peace treaty and the peace process on the Korean peninsula. All those disputes and tit-for-tats have been subsumed under that big agenda. So I hope that the relationship that gets better and better will probably look for some ways for resolving some of the issues that we have been struggling with."
Professor Song also stressed that there was a need for the three key regional players to at least show signs of a united front to show support for the U.S. summit with North Korea, which is set to be the real litmus test of whether Kim Jong-un is serious about giving up the regime's nuclear weapons.
"It was a necessary and timely dialogue among the key players, sort of lining the ducks in a row before the big talk between North Korea and the United States. Necessary messages were aired, support for the Panmunjom, and complete denuclearization support"
Differences in the details of the how to deal with North Korea remain, as do individual bilateral tensions, but for now, the possibility of peace and stability in the region has brought the leaders together in the same room, and they left with a promise to meet more regularly.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.