S’Korea, China, Japan Leaders Hold Rare Summit

The leaders of South Korea, China and Japan held their first summit in more than three years Sunday, setting aside historical animosities and territorial disputes to focus on shared security and trade concerns.

No substantive breakthroughs were expected, but the meeting in Seoul was a symbolic statement of intent by Northeast Asia’s three largest economies who all stand to reap significant diplomatic and economic gains from closer cooperation.

The focus was very much on economic ties, with China especially keen to boost trade links as it seeks to inject some fresh momentum into its slowing economy.
Also high on the agenda was North Korea whose nuclear weapons ambitions pose a worry — and threat — to all three countries, including China, which is the North’s main diplomatic protector and economic benefactor.

The triumph of realpolitik will be capped Monday by a first ever one-on-one summit between South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after an extended diplomatic freeze.

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