Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The leaders of China, Japan and South Korea are to meet for a trilateral summit in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Dec. 23 amid increased North Korean provocations.
The trilateral summit of Northeast Asian leaders has taken place since 2008; this year, the two-day summit could provide an opportunity for South Korea to ease strained relations with Tokyo and Beijing, South Korean television network MBC reported.
On Tuesday, presidential Blue House spokeswoman Ko Min-jung said South Korean President Moon Jae-in is to "review the current situation on the Korean Peninsula" at the summit, in addition to discussing "trilateral cooperation for the complete denuclearization and permanent peace settlement of the Korean Peninsula," according to the report.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the trilateral summit; Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will be representing Beijing during meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Moon, Yonhap reported.
Seoul is seeking a separate meeting with Xi following the trilateral summit. If South Korea's request for a summit with Xi is accepted, Moon is expected to travel to Beijing to meet with the Chinese president. The two sides could discuss "restarting the denuclearization process" and address tensions between North Korea and the United States, according to the report.
Moon and Abe are to hold a bilateral summit during the trilateral event, South Korean newspaper Maeil Business reported Tuesday.
The meeting could produce specific outcomes. South Korea is seeking the elimination of Japanese export restrictions, a move Tokyo has refused to take following a South Korean court order requiring Japanese firms to compensate Korean wartime laborers.
Lee Won-deok, a professor of international relations at Kookmin University in Seoul, told Maeil Business it is likely the tensions between Korea and Japan are not likely to make quick improvements.
"However, if the two sides agree to take the direction of solving problems, that would be meaningful," Lee said.
Moon and Abe last met in Bangkok for an informal summit. Following the meeting, Seoul decided to extend its military intelligence sharing agreement with Tokyo.