Seoul, Tokyo differ on trilateral talks for Pyongyang denuclearization

Seoul, Tokyo differ on trilateral talks for Pyongyang denuclearization

SEOUL, May 7 (UPI) — Tokyo and Seoul have conflicting stances on whether three-way talks with China this week should include the term “complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear program.

South Korea’s presidential office said Monday a special statement added to a joint statement following Wednesday’s trilateral summit would not include the term, or CVID, but would uphold last month’s Panmunjom Declaration.

The news comes amid Japanese media reports that Tokyo wants CVID in the trilateral statement, which say pressure on Pyongyang must continue until the complete and irreversible denuclearization of the North is realized, Yonhap reported.

Last month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed on full denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War. However, the document did not mention CVID.

Observers believe Seoul is leaving room for extensive discussions on terms of denuclearization for the summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump this month.

Beijing is also likely to different views from Tokyo at Wednesday’s meeting — as China is known to have long opposed strict measures and sanctions on the North, given decades of political and economic ties between the two regimes, SBS reported.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said Friday while North Korea is likely to be discussed at the trilateral meeting, it would not be the center of talks. He said the talks would mostly likely focus on regional cooperation.

The summit will take place in Tokyo among Moon, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Each of the three countries has hosted trilateral summits since 2008 to enhance regional dialogue and cooperation.