FM holds first meeting with Japan’s new top diplomat: report

Politics

SEOUL-- South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong has met bilaterally with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi for the first time since Hayashi's inauguration last month as they attended a Group of Seven foreign ministers' meeting in Britain, a Japanese news report said Sunday.

During the brief meeting in Liverpool on Saturday, the two top diplomats agreed to promote dialogue to restore a "healthy relationship" and confirmed cooperation with the United States to deal with North Korea, Japan's Kyodo News agency reported, citing Tokyo's foreign ministry.

Hayashi also called for an "appropriate response" from Seoul to resolve bilateral disputes over wartime compensation, the report said.

Relations between South Korea and Japan have been stuck in a row over wartime forced labor since Japan imposed export curbs against the South in 2019 in retaliation against South Korean Supreme Court rulings that Japanese firms should pay compensation to forced labor victims.

Japan has claimed all reparation issues stemming from its 1910-45 colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula were settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries, and urged the South to come up with acceptable solutions.

South Korea has maintained that the government cannot intervene in civil litigation due to the constitutional separation of the executive, judiciary and legislative powers.

Source: Yonhap News Agency