China urges "restraint" between North and South Korea during Seoul summit

Seoul, South Korea - Amid growing regional tensions, Chinese representatives have warned Korean and Japanese leaders of the need for better cooperation and "restraint" over pressing security issues.

Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean leaders gathered in Seoul to discuss greater regional cooperation.
Japanese, Chinese, and South Korean leaders gathered in Seoul to discuss greater regional cooperation.  © IMAGO/Kyodo News

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in a major three-way summit in Seoul that saw discussions over greater regional cooperation.

The meeting was marred by North Korean actions, when Pyongyang announced the launch of a spy satellite mere days before the summit was set to proceed.

Japan and South Korea both condemned the announcement, criticizing it as potentially unlawful under United Nations resolutions that bar Pyongyang from developing technology that could be used in ballistic missile systems.

China assures US of no nukes in Taiwan war in secret meeting amid regional escalations
China China assures US of no nukes in Taiwan war in secret meeting amid regional escalations

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Premier Li Qiang called for both North and South Korea to "exercise restraint and prevent further complications of the situation on the Korean peninsula."

"China has always been committed to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and promoting the political settlement process of the issue."

Such controversies threaten to overshadow a summit in which Li Qiang had previously said he hoped would see China, South Korea, and Japan become "partners and opportunities for development."

South Korea, China, and Japan attempt cooperation amid significant and increasing regional divides

The trilateral summit hit an early snag when North Korea announced it would be launching a spy satellite mere days before talks took place.
The trilateral summit hit an early snag when North Korea announced it would be launching a spy satellite mere days before talks took place.  © IMAGO/Kyodo News

Prior to talks commencing at the Seoul summit, taking place a little over 20 miles from the border with North Korea, South Korean President Yoon Yeok-seol asked for greater cooperation.

"I hope that our three countries, who are working together as members of the UN Security Council this year, will join forces to contribute to peace and prosperity in the international community by gathering wisdom and strength in the face of a global complex crisis and geopolitical conflicts," Yoon said.

Prime Minister Kishida of Japan seconded calls for "decisive" action against any launch undertaken by Pyongyang, and said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) that China, Japan, and South Korea "bear major responsibility for regional peace and prosperity."

According to Kishida, the three regional powers "must aim at a future in which all nations enjoy peace, prosperity, and human dignity under a free and open international order based on the rule of law."

Cover photo: IMAGO/Kyodo News

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