US, Japan and South Korea leaders hold brief meeting at APEC

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met with U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday in San Francisco, according to Yoon's office.

The leaders posed for a photograph together before leaving without making remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, news agency Yonhap reported. The brief meeting comes three months after the leaders met at Camp David in August for talks.

Yoon and Kishida promised to push for deeper cooperation in a separate meeting earlier Friday, Yoon's office said.

"This year, bilateral cooperation is deepening with the reactivation of exchanges at each level, including at the summit level, and the restoration of consultation bodies between our governments," Yoon was quoted as saying in a media pool report.

Kishida said he hopes to push forward with cooperation in politics, security guarantees, the economy and culture.

The two also discussed North Korea's continued nuclear and missile tests and committed to working together with the United States on responding to the North, Japan's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The pair met on Thursday, a day before they were due to attend a roundtable on technological cooperation at Stanford University.

They are expected to announce a joint supply network for carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia, the Nikkei business daily has reported.

Yoon has made it a priority to mend ties with Japan since taking office in May 2022, and to restore trilateral security cooperation with the United States as North Korea ramps up its weapons programs and openly threatens the South.

The moves have not always been popular at home, where many South Koreans believe Japan has not done enough to atone for its 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula.

Kishida also attended the summit with Biden in August, pledging alongside the other two countries to deepen military and economic cooperation and restore an alliance aimed at countering North Korea's threats and China's growing influence.

(Reporting by Josh Smith in Seoul; Editing by Sam Holmes, Christopher Cushing and Gerry Doyle)