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THU, 2015-11-26 KST

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Top diplomats from S. Korea, Japan to hold talks next month: sources Updated: 2014-07-16 21:59:31 KST

Top diplomats from South Korea and Japan may meet for talks next month on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Myanmar.
Diplomatic sources in Seoul said Wednesday that such a meeting would be favorable, although nothing has been decided yet.
If it happens, it would be the first talks between South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida this year.

The possibility will likely be discussed when the two countries resume their monthly meeting on the so-called "comfort women" issue in Seoul next week.
It will be the first such talks since Japan carried out a review of the Kono Statement, its landmark apology to the victims of its wartime sexual enslavement, issued in 1993.

A thick frost has settled over Seoul-Tokyo ties in recent years, stemming from historical controversies and Japan's territorial claims over Korea's Dokdo island.
But at the same time, Japan has made public its desire on numerous occasions to talk with South Korea, which may have put Seoul in a difficult position to repeatedly turn a cold shoulder.
Washington may also be playing a part.
The U.S. wants a firm trilateral security alliance with South Korea and Japan and has tried to end the squabble, especially as Tokyo appears to be cozying up with Pyongyang.

To reaffirm their joint commitment in dealing with North Korea's nuclear program, the chief nuclear envoys from South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo on Wednesday.
But whether the string of bilateral meetings will thaw years of icy relations remains in question.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.


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