S. Korean, Japanese foreign ministers hold talks in Cambodia

General

PHNOM PENH-- The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan met bilaterally in Phnom Penh on Thursday on the sidelines of annual gatherings led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It marked the second one-on-one talks in less than three weeks between South Korea Foreign Minister Park Jin and his counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa, as they were visiting the Cambodian capital for a series of ministerial sessions.

Following the meeting, which lasted around 30 minutes, Park told reporters, "Albeit briefly, (we) exchanged opinions in earnest on ways for the two countries to face up to history and develop relations in a future-oriented manner as well as pending issues of mutual concern."

The two sides also agreed to continue related consultations and trilateral security cooperation with the United States in consideration of the "grave security situation on the Korean Peninsula," he added.

In their previous talks in Tokyo last month, the two agreed on the need for an early settlement of issues related to Korean victims of wartime forced labor. But there have been no reports of a tangible breakthrough.

In 2018, South Korea's top court ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Inc. and Nippon Steel Corp. to compensate Korean forced labor victims. The firms refused to pay the compensation, as the Japanese government has claimed that all colonization-linked reparation issues were settled under a 1965 accord to normalize bilateral relations.

Source: Yonhap News Agency