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S. Korea, Japan hold bilateral meeting in Beijing amid high tensions between two sides Updated: 2019-08-22 07:05:53 KST

South Korea's Foreign affairs minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono met again Wednesday afternoon to discuss pending issues, but it seems like they simply reiterated their stances, neither side budging.

The 35-minute meeting came on the sidelines of the 9th Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo foreign affairs ministers' talks.

According to an official at South Korea's foreign ministry, Minister Kang, as expected, expressed great regret over Japan's trade restrictions on Seoul and urged Tokyo to retract them.
She also said that there need to be negotiations on the matter, and asked for Japan's efforts there.

But to that, Kono is said to have restated the view that the restrictions are not up for discussion because they were imposed for "security reasons."
The South Korean official told reporters that Kono also brought up the forced labor ruling, in which Seoul's Supreme Court ordered Japanese firms to compensate the Koreans forced to work for them during Japan's colonial rule.

Kono reportedly argued that the issue was resolved in their normalization agreement in 1965, while Kang is to have said that the government respects the judicial authority of the court.

As for South Korea sharing military intel with Japan, Kono reportedly asked for Seoul to make a decision on whether to continue.
The deadline for either side to cancel it is this Saturday, but Kang said the matter is still under review.
South Korean officials have wondered aloud why they should keep sharing military intel with Japan if, as Kono says, there are "security" issues between the two sides.

There have been reports that a decision will be made at the weekly National Security Council meeting on Thursday.

And with so much emotion on both sides, the ministers asked each other to protect the safety of their people in each other's countries as well.

Meanwhile, Kang is also to have again relayed Seoul's grave concerns about Japan's treatment of radioactive water in Fukushima, while urging Japan to make a wise decision.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
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