• Top Diplomats Of S. Korea, Japan Discuss Row Over History, Trade

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) shakes hands with her Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) shakes hands with her Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, discussed a protracted trade row between Seoul and Tokyo stemming from differences over wartime forced labor.

The two diplomats met on the sidelines of a trilateral meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in California on Tuesday.

Kang reiterated to Motegi a call for Japan to retract its export controls against South Korea and urged for the trade authorities of the two sides to speed up the dialogue process.

She also repeated that Seoul respects South Korean court decisions on the forced labor issue, adding that any solution must have the support of the victims.

The two ministers also spoke privately for five-minutes, raising speculation that it could have been about a solution for a real breakthrough.

Kang and Motegi agreed to continue close communication and coordination to keep alive the dialogue momentum created after President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's summit in China last month.

Seoul's foreign ministry said in regards to North Korea, the ministers shared the need for bilateral and trilateral efforts with the U.S. to facilitate nuclear dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang as well as lasting peace in the region.■

<Photo: Yonhap News>
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