Korea has delivered its message to the U.S. that history disputes remain a stumbling block to improving relations in Northeast Asia.
Following an hour-long meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington Tuesday, Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the current situation in the region calls for sincere actions,.. adding that the two agreed on the need to alleviate tensions.
"Secretary Kerry and I also recognized the growing uncertainty within Northeast Asia in recent times. In particular, I pointed out that historical issues stand in the way of reconciliation and cooperation in this region."
While neither Yun nor Kerry directly mentioned Japan by name, the comments are almost certainly aimed at Tokyo as they come just weeks after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine escalated tensions with Korea and China.
The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including several Class-A war criminals.
The two officials also agreed to deal to urge Pyongyang to get rid of its nuclear program.
"We call on North Korea to denuclearize. We will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state nor as a nuclear-armed state, and nor will the international community abide by that."
Emphasizing the two countries stand united, Kerry added the U.S. is fully committed to the defense of South Korea and it will continue to modernize its military capabilities in preparation against any threat.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.