3 E. Asian powers avoid mentioning N. Korea in joint declaration
The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea released a joint declaration Monday, a day after their annual summit in Beijing, but stopped short of mentioning one of the most pressing topics of discussion: North Korea.
After the one-day meeting on Sunday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said they agreed to make efforts to prevent North Korea from committing further provocative acts, following Pyongyang's failed launch one month ago of a rocket using ballistic missile technology in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, Kyodo reports.
But the three countries later disagreed on wording regarding North Korea in their joint declaration, according to diplomats familiar with the situation.
China, which has close ties with North Korea, was reluctant to state anything that may anger Pyongyang, the diplomats said.
On Monday, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Noda and Lee, however, also confirmed the importance of the three countries working closely together to avoid the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, according to Japanese officials.
Hu promised that China will continue to do its best to convince North Korea not to act against the interests of regional stability, according to Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tsuyoshi Saito.
Noda told Hu and Lee that the three countries ''share the view'' that it is necessary for them to call on North Korea not to take provocative actions, Saito told reporters.
The international community is cautious about a third nuclear test by North Korea, where new young leader Kim Jong Un is now trying to consolidate power following the death of his father and long-time ruler Kim Jong Il in December.
North Korea tested nuclear devices after launching long-range missiles in 2006 and 2009.
During the trilateral summit, Noda, Lee and Wen frankly discussed issues related to North Korea but they did not touch on what measures the three countries might take if Pyongyang goes ahead with another act of provocation, according to the officials.
South Korea was interested in clearly stating in the declaration that North Korea should refrain from carrying out a third nuclear test, the diplomats said.
Until the late hours of Sunday, senior officials of Japan and South Korea tried to persuade their Chinese counterparts to incorporate their views on North Korea into the declaration, but their efforts did not materialize and the three countries eventually decided to completely drop paragraphs referring to the North.
After the summit ended in the morning, Wen said at a joint news conference that each country ''should fully exercise their wisdom, remain patient, show their goodwill to ease confrontation and make efforts to return to the right track of dialogue and negotiations,'' when he referred to the situation in North Korea.
On Monday, Hu and Lee held bilateral talks after Noda and the two presidents met together.
Noda and Wen held a one-to-one meeting Sunday, during which the two addressed hot-button issues, including those related to territorial rights over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Japan's recent issuance of an entry visa to exiled Uyghur leader Rebiya Kadeer.
Also in the news
16:28 01.02.2013 Kazakh First Vice PM urges to check up state material reserve
11:58 01.02.2013 New tool for waste management introduced in Kazakhstan
11:57 01.02.2013 Pollutant emissions volume decreased by 1.3% and 1.7%
10:28 01.02.2013 Clinton says U.S. failing to explain policies to Muslims
10:25 01.02.2013 Assassination attempt made on Armenian presidential candidate