Senior officials from Korea and Japan met in Seoul Wednesday as they seek to resolve the long-standing dispute over Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women.
Following two hours of talks, a South Korean official, who wished to remain anonymous, told reporters that the two sides exchanged their basic stances and held a productive discussion.
Korea has been demanding an official apology and legal compensation from Japan for the so-called "comfort women."
Tokyo claims the issue was settled through a 1965 treaty signed by the two neighbors when they normalized diplomatic ties.
The rare meeting is the result of an agreement reached ahead of President Park Geun-hye's first official talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Netherlands last month.
But just one round of talks was not enough for the two sides to overcome decades of diplomatic tensions.
The officials will meet again in May, when Japan hosts a second round of discussions on the comfort women issue, and perhaps even more.
"I believe there are many issues that Korea and Japan need to exchange views on."
Around 200-thousand women, mostly Korean, were forced to serve the Japanese army in comfort stations during the early 20th century.
"When asked whether the officials will discuss a possible summit between South Korea and Japan at their next meeting, the South Korean official did not give a clear answer, saying the two sides must first build mutual trust.
Hwang Sung-hee Arirang News."
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