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East Asian leaders shelve differences to pressure NKorea

January 14, 2007

CEBU, Philippines - East Asian leaders have shelved differences to put pressure on North Korea as countries around the region prepared to wrap up days of diplomatic summits with their biggest meeting of all.

China, Japan and South Korea held their first summit in more than two years Sunday, announcing a Tokyo visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao amid improving relations that have been strained by tensions over Japan's wartime past.

In an unexpected sign of unity, the three forged a common front on North Korea -- with China publicly joining the others in taking Pyongyang to task over concerns about its abductions of Japanese and South Korean nationals.

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