The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula dominated a summit on Tuesday held by China, South Korea and Japan, according to media reports.

The three countries underlined that Korea's denuclearization was "possible only through peaceful means," Seoul-based Yonhap news agency reported.

At a joint news conference with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and the Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang said: "[We] had in-depth dialogue on the Korean Peninsula security conditions, in particular."

The sides agreed that denuclearizing the peninsula and establishing permanent peace were common goals, said Li.

"The three nations will continue to work together to resolve the problem in a political manner," he added.

However, Abe condemned recent ballistic missile tests by Pyongyang saying: "It is important to keep up the momentum of talks between the United States and North Korea."

"UN Security Council resolutions against Pyongyang should be fully implemented," Japan's Kyodo news quoted Abe as say.

This was the eighth trilateral meeting since 2008, and the meeting maintained emphasis on the importance of promoting multilateral free trade.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the countries decided to maintain contact and cooperation with each other in the Korean peace process.

He added that they agreed to make joint efforts for substantive progress in denuclearization and peace efforts via "early dialogue" between North Korea and the U.S.

The statement from the three nations came days before a year-end deadline unilaterally set by Pyongyang for the U.S. to make progress in stalled denuclearization talks.

On the sidelines of the summit Abe and Jae-in held a bilateral meeting, met first time in last 15 months.

The meeting assumes significance since the two countries were locked-in an intense trade war.