China, Japan and South Korea highlight unity amid North Korea moves

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South Korean officials said Kim told Moon that he would be willing to give up his nuclear weapons if the USA commits to a formal end to the Korean War and a pledge not to attack the North.

"The two heads of state agreed the worldwide society, including the United States, should help guarantee a bright future for North Korea like ensuring the regime's security and economic development if North Korea completely denuclearizes", Blue House official Yoon Young-chan told reporters.

Fifteen Korean business leaders also joined including Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce Park Yong-maan, Samsung Electronics CEO Yoon Boo-keun, Hyundai Motor President Chung Jin-haeng, LG Electronics CEO Cho Sung-jin and the heads of Lotte Holdings, GS, CJ, LS and Amorepacific.

The leaders also agreed to hold trilateral summits on a regular basis and set up a secretariat.

Abe called for additional, specific action, a spokesman for South Korea's presidential office said in a Tokyo briefing. He also urged the counterparts not to miss the current opportunity to improve trilateral ties and speed up the process of coming to an agreement to establish a free trade zone.

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"We are all beneficiaries of free trade and even though various issues have emerged, these should not stand in the way", Li said.

China has agreed to grant Japan a 200 billion yuan ($31.4 billion) investment quota for the first time to buy Chinese stocks, bonds and other assets, the Xinhua official news agency quoted Chinese Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Wednesday. The pact provides for meetings between both nations' defence officials and a mechanism for their naval vessels to communicate at sea to avert maritime incidents.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations, clouded by Japan's occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two, have gradually improved after deteriorating sharply in 2012, when Tokyo nationalized a cluster of disputed East China Sea islets that China also claims.

Mr Abe reiterated Japan's position that it would normalise ties with North Korea only if the latter took concrete steps towards abandoning its nuclear and missile programmes and resolved the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents.