SEOUL: Seoul has sounded out the possibility of holding a trilateral summit with Japan and the United States in South Korea next year, a source at the South Korean presidential office said Thursday.
When they met at Camp David, a US presidential retreat in Maryland, in August, US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio agreed to regularize the three countries’ summits in a bid to strengthen their cooperation, with China and North Korea in mind.
The South Korean source noted that the three countries’ leaders are supposed to meet at least once a year.
The South Korean government is asking the United States and Japan about its plan to invite their leaders for holding a three-way meeting in South Korea, the source added, while stopping short of mentioning when such a summit would take place.
Seoul is seen aiming to hold the tripartite summit at an early date in the first half of next year. In 2024, a general election will be held in South Korea in April, and the US presidential election is scheduled for November.
In August, Yoon indicated his intention to hold the next trilateral summit in South Korea.
Kishida, Biden and Yoon met in May, though briefly, on the fringe of a summit of the Group of Seven major democracies in the western Japan city of Hiroshima. While South Korea is not a G7 member, Yoon was invited to the summit as a guest.
Against this background, some in the South Korean government apparently believe that it would be natural for the next trilateral summit to take place in South Korea, people familiar with the matter said.
Kishida, Biden and Yoon had brief talks also last month, on the sidelines of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.
Takeo Akiba, secretary-general of Japan’s National Security Secretariat, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Cho Tae-yong, director of South Korea’s National Security Office, will meet in Seoul on Saturday to discuss putting the Camp David agreement into practice and the three countries’ responses to North Korea.