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Korea, China, Japan to delay three-way summit until 2017: report

South Korea, China and Japan have decided to postpone their trilateral summit until next year, which had been slated for this month in Tokyo, a Japanese media organization reported Tuesday amid political turmoil in Korea.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the three countries had planned to hold it by the end of this month, but due to "various circumstances," the summit will be arranged to be held in Japan at a suitable time next year, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

The nations sought to hold a trilateral summit on Dec. 19-20 in Tokyo, setting the stage for President Park Geun-hye and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to visit Japan for the first time since they took office in 2013.

But the prospect for the summit has become murky as South Korea's parliament voted last week to impeach Park over a political scandal involving her and her long-time confidante.

The passage of the impeachment motion has suspended all of Park's authority and power, with Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn serving as acting president.

The three nations had taken turns to host the three-way summits since 2008 to promote cooperation. But it was resumed last year after being suspended for more than three years as Tokyo's attempts to whitewash its wartime atrocities and colonial occupation irked Seoul and Beijing.

In November when South Korea was engulfed by the scandal, Seoul said that Park was expected to attend the summit if the date for the meeting was fixed.

But after Park's impeachment, an idea of Hwang's attendance to the summit was floated, but China reportedly expressed negative views about such a possibility, diplomatic sources said. (Yonhap)