China, Japan, South Korea Summit in Seoul

They talked about the economy, strengthening cooperation, and promoting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, North Korea's reported launch of a military satellite allegedly failed

China, Japan, and South Korea discussed the economy, free trade, and nuclear activities related to North Korea. The three leaders talked about this during the trade summit, which is the first meeting of the three countries since 2019, attended by Chinese Premier Li Qiang, South Korean President Yun Suk Yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The three leaders said that denuclearizing North Korea and maintaining stability on the peninsula is a “shared responsibility.” While Japan and South Korea used harsh tones, Li did not openly condemn North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, but urged “stakeholders to exercise restraint and prevent further complication of the situation.”

“We reaffirmed positions on regional peace and stability, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and the abduction issue respectively. We agree to continue to make positive efforts for a political solution to the Korean Peninsula issue,” reads a joint statement signed by the three political leaders, as reported by Italy’s ANSA news agency.

The Japan Times also reports: “As countries that share a great responsibility for peace and prosperity in the region, we reaffirmed our determination to promote trilateral cooperation on a range of issues from the economy to sustainable development, health issues, science and technology, and security.

China’s Xinhua News Agency also emphasizes how Li urged his counterparts to “draw lessons from history and look to the future to live up to the will of the people of the three countries to live and work in peace and tranquility, strive to eliminate external interference, and always live in harmony and maintain solidarity,” urging them not to separate economies and cooperate to achieve “a higher level of mutual benefit and win-win results.”

Pyongyang’s reaction was immediate: “It is a mockery and deception towards regional countries and the international community when the Republic of Korea talks about ‘denuclearization,’ ‘peace and stability,’” a foreign ministry spokesman said, according to a report by the Korean Central News Agency. And further, “The idea of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is already theoretically, practically, and physically dead,” the ministry said, blaming Seoul for the “serious security crisis” on the peninsula.

Meanwhile, North Korea launched a military spy satellite (believed by the South and other observers to be a way to hide other types of military tests), but the launch failed, according to the Yonhap News Agency. The General Staff said it detected the launch, and after two minutes of flight there was nothing left of the aircraft carrier but “multiple pieces of debris in the country’s waters.” South Korean and US intelligence agencies are further analyzing the incident.