Moon, Li reaffirm joint efforts to denuclearize N. Korea

China Japan draw closer as Asia's diplomatic order shifts

China Japan draw closer as Asia's diplomatic order shifts

President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang issued a special statement supporting the Panmunjeom Declaration at Wednesday's trilateral summit in Tokyo.

Both leaders also spoke at length about bilateral issues.

"As long as relevant parties eliminate the hostile policy and security threats against North Korea, North Korea does not need to have nuclear weapons, and denuclearization is achievable, " Kim said, according to Xinhua.

Li's trip to Japan, which will last until May 11, is the first by a leading Chinese politician for eight years and coincides with the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two countries.

"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.

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.

The two also agreed on the possibility of starting research activities regarding a railway project to connect their two countries, via North Korea, it said.

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While short on specifics, the show of unity, especially ahead of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's expected talks with President Trump, was seen as a major success.

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

Abe was scheduled to meet separately with Moon and Li later on May 9.

The leaders discussed Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme and supported free trade.

The South Korean president asked for China's continued support, especially for the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit that he earlier said may decide how and when North Korea will give up its nuclear ambition.

The pact, a decade in the making, also provides for regular meetings between defense officials and a mechanism for their naval vessels to communicate at sea to avert maritime incidents.

The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea on May 9 agreed to cooperate for the denuclearization of North Korea, but they stressed different courses to achieve that goal.

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