South Korea's top office has confirmed that President Moon Jae-in is slated to embark for China this month for both three-way and possible bilateral summit meetings with regional players.
The South Korean leader will be heading to China's Chengdu of Sichuan Province for an annual trilateral summit meeting on Christmas Eve.
"Against the backdrop of the South Korea-China-Japan summit meeting next week, President Moon, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will discuss substantive tripartite cooperation as well as global affairs in Northeast Asia."
The agenda will most likely include regional security issues, the Korean Peace Process, and the recent provocations by North Korea.
An official at the presidential office also said consultations are under way regarding possible separate bilateral summits on the sidelines with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
If the summits take place, the one-on-one between Seoul and Japan would come amid tensions that started escalating last year when South Korea's top court ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of Japan's wartime forced labor.
Tokyo retaliated the court's decision by triggering a trade spat with Seoul which eventually led to the virtual termination of a security pact, now temporarily extended, between the two neighboring countries.
Moon and Abe met briefly on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok last month, with the two leaders exchanging hopes for agreeing on practical measures to improve bilateral relations.
And the meeting with Chinese President Xi would offer the chance for President Moon to discuss ways to regain denuclearization momentum for the Korean Peninsula amid the colossal clash between Washington and Beijing over trade issues.
Marking the 20th anniversary of cooperation between the three regional players the presidential office hoped the three-way summit churns results that would benefit all parties.
Shin Se-min Arirang News.