Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and leaders from China and South Korea voiced a shared desire for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday but stopped short of declaring a clear-cut commitment to the U.S.-led "maximum pressure" campaign against Pyongyang due to conflicting positions.

The leaders, who met for the first time in more than two years as part of a trilateral summit in Tokyo, also advocated the promotion of free trade and globalization in what appeared to be a not-so-veiled dig at U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" protectionist agenda.

The Japan-China-South Korea summit coincides with a significant thaw in inter-Korean relations following last month's historic meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.