Japan, South Korea committed to dialogue to resolve North Korea issue: China

WION Web Team Beijing Dec 24, 2019, 10.28 AM(IST)

China's Premier Li Keqiang at the trilateral leaders' meeting Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of the talks.

As the trilateral summit opened on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that Japan and South Korea are keen to resolve issues with North Korea through dialogue.

Keqiang met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the southern city of Chengdu to kick-start the summit.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing ahead of the talks with Keqiang. The Japanese prime minister raised the Hong Kong issue with the Chinese president reiterating that "Hong Kong should continue to be free and open".

Otaka Masato, Japan's foreign affairs spokesman said PM Abe "urged China to continue its self-restraint" over Hong Kong and expressed "hope for an early resolution of the situation".

"Mr Abe reiterated that he is very much concerned about the situation...(and) mentioned that under the 'one country, two systems', Hong Kong should continue to be free and open and to be able to enjoy its development," the Japanese foreign affairs spokesman said. The Japanese spokesman added that Xi told Abe that Hong Kong "is a domestic matter".

Abe and Xi also discussed North Korea and the denuclearisation moves in the Korean Peninsula, although the spokesman added that "it was too early for any lifting of the sanctions at this moment considering what’s happening around North Korea these days."

The leaders of the three nations are holding talks amid differences over trade and military issues. Ahead of the meet, the Chiese foreign ministry had said that ties between Tokyo and Seoul remain strained over trade and security issues as well as compensation for wartime forced labour.