The foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea, and China are in talks in South Korea to discuss the Cheonan incident, among other things.

The ministers expressed sympathy at the heavy loss of life and exchanged views on the incident, South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan told a press conference after talks with China’s Yang Jiechi and Japan’s Katsuya Okada.

Suspicions are growing that a North Korean torpedo downed the warship near the disputed inter-Korean border on March 26 with the loss of 46 lives.

This meeting isn’t getting a whole lot of press, but I suspect it should. South Korea cannot be happy with China having received Kim Jong Il in Beijing six weeks after the sinking of the Cheonan. The Chinese know very well who sank the ship, and could have canceled the visit, since nobody outside of China’s leadership and North Korea knew it was happening in advance. Receiving Kim right now looks bad, and the Chinese should know it. Japan is also unhappy about China’s recent campaign of harassment at sea.

Update. There’s another way to look at Kim’s visit in the aftermath of the Cheonan sinking: the Chinese are furious with him for such a blatant provocation and told him to show up in Beijing and explain himself, or else. As a friend noted, “notice how the Chinese–twice–urged all sides to ‘remain calm even after the results of the investigation were made public’, which implies they knew it was sunk as a result of hostile action.”

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch