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THU, 2014-10-23  KST

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Korea, Japan, U.S. may hold trilateral summit next week: sources

Updated: 2014-03-20 22:02:03 KST
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It's looking increasingly likely that President Park will meet with her Japanese counterpart in what will be the first official meeting between the two since she took office last year.
The meeting would take place as part of a trilateral summit with the United States on the sidelines of next week's Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.
President Park has thus far refused to sit down with Prime Minister Abe, criticizing him for his distorted perception of history.
But Abe's recent stream of conciliatory gestures has put the ball in President Park's court.
Last week, the Japanese leader stated his administration will uphold a landmark apology issued to the victims of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement.
Just days later, Abe called South Korea Japan's most important neighboring country and expressed his hope that the two could build a future-oriented relationship at the upcoming meeting in the Netherlands.
The Japanese government has also reportedly postponed announcing the results of its annual textbook screening to early April, from March 26th.
The event usually angers South Korea, which argues Japan is trying to cover up its wartime crimes and making unjustified territorial claims over the Korea-controlled Dokdo Island.
Sources in Seoul say that Tokyo's actions may not be enough for a bilateral summit, but that the two could meet in the presence of the U.S.
The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is reportedly reviewing whether to say yes to the trilateral summit next week.
If the talks do take place, the three leaders will likely discuss North Korea's nuclear program and regional issues of mutual interest.
As willing as the two neighbors may be to patch up their differences, they are also under pressure from Washington, who wants its two main allies in Northeast Asia to mend ties before President Obama visits the region next month.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.


Reporter : ssung86@arirang.co.kr

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