South Korea and Japan will hold a set of diplomatic talks in Seoul on Monday over bilateral relations and North Korea amid tensions caused by differences over their shared history and other sensitive issues, the foreign ministry said.
Kim Yong-kil, director-general for Northeast Asian affairs at Seoul’s foreign ministry, will meet his Japanese counterpart Kenji Kanasugi in the afternoon.
Their meeting has been arranged amid diplomatic tensions over the recent rulings by Korea’s Supreme Court that two Japanese firms should compensate Koreans forced to toil at their factories during World War II.
Japan has strongly protested the rulings, saying all reparation-related issues were settled in a 1965 state-to-state deal to normalize bilateral diplomatic relations. Tokyo colonized the Korean Peninsula from 1910-45.
Tensions flared anew last week as Tokyo claimed that a South Korean warship directed its fire-control radar at Japan’s maritime patrol aircraft. Seoul rejected the claim, saying Tokyo misunderstood its naval operation to help a North Korean ship drifting near a sea border.
Before the director-general talks, Kanasugi, who doubles as Tokyo’s top nuclear envoy, will meet Lee Do-hoon, Seoul’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.
At the meeting, they are expected to discuss ongoing inter-Korean cooperation projects and other North Korea-related issues. (Yonhap)