China seeks closer dialogue with Japan, South Korea to tackle threat from Pyongyang

China on Saturday vowed to strengthen coordination with its neighbours in dealing with the North Korean issue, as US President Donald Trump complimented Beijing on helping to rein in Pyongyang.

The situation on the Korean peninsula dominated discussions at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang.

In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hoped China would continue implementing sanctions backed by the United Nations against North Korea.

Abe also said China and Japan agreed to deepen cooperation on Pyongyang, and hailed a “fresh start” to ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

“At the end of the meeting, President Xi said this is a meeting that marks a fresh start of relations between Japan and China. I totally feel the same way,” he said.

Abe said he had proposed visiting China at an appropriate time, which would then be followed by Xi visiting Japan.

According to Norio Maruyama, press secretary for the Japanese foreign ministry, Japan had discussed North Korea at meetings with other state leaders to “deliver the message that we consider important at this time”.

“We consider dialogue for the sake of dialogue meaningless. But we need to raise the pressure … so that North Korea finds it necessary to come back to the negotiating table,” he said.

Xi said stable Sino-Japan relations was important to the region, but added that Japan needed to do more to improve mutual trust between the two nations, Xinhua reported.

In a separate meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Xi said the situation on the Korean peninsula had reached a “pivotal” stage, Yonhap news agency reported.

North Korea says Trump’s ‘warmonger’ tour of Asia only pushes it to speed up nuclear weapons effort

After the meeting, South Korea’s presidential office said that the two nations would strengthen strategic dialogue and continue discussions next month when Moon was expected to visit China.

The leaders “shared the view on the need to stably manage the current security conditions on the Korean peninsula in relation to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, and agreed to seek to peacefully resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue”, the office said.

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