Abe, Li discuss N.Korea, bilateral ties

Virginia Carson
May 10, 2018

Following the trilateral summit, Abe also separately held talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and agreed that they will bolster cooperation toward North Korea's denuclearization and to advance a "future-oriented" relationship.

During a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Li said that China and Japan have opportunities for improvement and development, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

"It was extremely significant that Japan, China and South Korea reaffirmed the importance of their cooperation ahead of a U.S".

Moon, who took office a year ago, is the first South Korean president in seven years to travel to Japan.

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"The momentum of the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability in North-East Asia has to be led to North Korea's concrete actions, " Abe said after the meeting.

After the talks, Abe said he hoped to see the global community press "North Korea to take concrete steps towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and peace and stability in northeast Asia".

However, Japan's position has always been to exert maximum pressure on North Korea until it abandons its nuclear weapons in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" manner.

"We must take the recent momentum towards denuclearization on the Korean peninsula and towards peace and security in Northeast Asia, and, cooperating even further with worldwide society, make sure this is linked to concrete action by North Korea", Abe told a news conference after the meeting.

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Japan has by far the hardest line of the three countries on North Korea, and has found itself largely watching from the sidelines as the diplomatic frenzy unfolds.

The leaders discussed Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and supported free trade. "We are willing to continue to play a constructive role in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

They pledged to accelerate the negotiations for a trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and to achieve the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at an early date.

Moon assured Abe that no such steps would be taken without conferring with the United Nations, the United States and others.

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He will meet Japanese Emperor Akihito on Thursday before flying to the northern island of Hokkaido, where he will attend a conference hosted by local political leaders.

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