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September 29, 2009

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China, Japan, S. Korea vow stronger ties

CHINA, Japan and South Korea agreed yesterday in Shanghai to deepen their partnership to promote regional peace and cooperate on economic development, climate change and other important issues.

Also yesterday, China's Foreign Ministry announced that Premier Wen Jiabao will visit the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from Sunday through Tuesday.

The three countries at the Shanghai session promised to build stronger strategic trust, upgrade cooperation, carry out people-to-people exchanges and promote East Asian cooperation and regional peace and development, according to a statement issued at the end of the day-long meeting of foreign ministers.

"The meeting was of great significance for enhancing mutual trust," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told reporters after the talks.

Yang said his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan featured discussions on disarmament and nonproliferation. But he gave no details and did not refer specifically to North Korea.

The session coincided with the 10th anniversary of the launch of a trilateral cooperative mechanism between China, Japan and South Korea.

The ministers reviewed the progress of the effort and discussed future cooperation, according to the statement. The three countries said their friendship would be the key position in their foreign relations.

The countries have implemented more than 30 cooperative projects, in fields such as politics, economics, environmental protection, science and technology, society, culture and international affairs, according to the statement.

The ministers' talks were also meant to help set the agenda for an October 10 three-nation summit in Beijing.

"At a critical juncture in dealing with the global economic downturn, promoting recovery and boosting growth, the leaders summit will be significant in enhancing political mutual trust, advancing reciprocal cooperation and promoting Asian stability and development," the statement said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, meanwhile, said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il could announce concrete denuclearization measures during Wen's visit.

China's Foreign Ministry said Wen will meet with North Korean leaders to discuss bilateral ties and "issues of common concern."

The Chinese premier will also attend celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the ministry said.

Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency said in a brief dispatch yesterday that Wen will pay an "official goodwill" visit at the North Korean government's invitation.


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