BEIJING - The foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea will meet next week to prepare for a trilateral summit, China said Tuesday, with talks likely to touch on the North Korean nuclear issue.
Gathering in Shanghai on Monday, the ministers will focus on "strengthening cooperation between the three countries and preparing for the second trilateral leaders' summit," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement.
They will also "exchange views on big regional and international issues of common concern," she said in the statement, posted on the ministry's website.
The meeting brings together China's Yang Jiechi, Japan's Katsuya Okada and South Korea's Yu Myung-Hwan, according to the statement.
In Seoul, Yu's office said the discussions would touch on security issues such as North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
In April, North Korea quit six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear programme after the United Nations censured its long-range rocket test. The six-nation format groups the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Pyongyang was further angered when the UN imposed tougher sanctions after a nuclear test in May.
But on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il said he was willing to come back to multilateral talks and engage in bilateral discussions.