Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Abe, Moon seek further N. Korea steps

Abe, Moon seek further N. Korea steps

South Korean and Chinese leaders agreed on Wednesday in Tokyo that North Korea should receive economic support and security guarantees if complete denuclearization is implemented, the South Korean presidential office said.

According to reports, the deal aimed at avoiding unexpected incidents is expected to be signed during a bilateral meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they meet later this week.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations, clouded by Japan's occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two, have gradually improved after deteriorating sharply in 2012, when Tokyo nationalized a cluster of disputed East China Sea islets that China also claims.

At the start of the 75-minute meeting, Abe said, "Japan, China and South Korea must cooperate with the worldwide community and strongly ask North Korea to take specific action" toward denuclearization, namely abandoning its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.

Moon and Li agreed that the worldwide community, including the United States, should actively take part in providing North Korea, in exchange for complete denuclearization, a guarantee of its security and support for its economic development, according to the South Korean presidential office.

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

China, Japan and South Korea injected fresh confidence into global growth on Wednesday by reaffirming their commitment to economic globalization as well as trade and investment liberalization.

Moon met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the border village of Panmunjom on April 27.

Abe also asked his two counterparts for cooperation in resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago. He said that as major traders in the world, the three sides all support free trade and open markets.

China, meanwhile, is seeking the simultaneous construction of a peace framework for the Korean Peninsula as North Korea eliminates its nuclear weapons.

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.

Abe said he is "looking forward to visiting China (again) at an appropriate time" following a request from Li.

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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