S.Korea's Yoon stresses significance of first trilateral summit since pandemic

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has stressed the significance of the leaders of South Korea, Japan and China meeting for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoon made the remark at the beginning of the three-way talks in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Monday.

He said the resumption of the meeting after overcoming the crisis has great significance for people in the three countries as well as the international community.

Yoon said that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the cooperation of the three nations, and that makes the gathering more meaningful.

He said problems that are difficult for two nations to deal with can be resolved through the cooperation of three states.

Yoon also condemned North Korea's announcement on Monday of its plan to launch what it calls an artificial satellite between May 27 and June 3.

He said that any launch using ballistic missile technology is against UN Security Council resolutions. He stressed that there would be a firm response if North Korea goes ahead with the launch despite warnings from the international community.