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Diplomats from S. Korea, Japan discuss series of thorny issues; differences remain

Arirang News
Arirang News
한일, 스가 취임 후 첫 외교국장급 대면협의...강제징용 등 입장차 크게 못 좁혀

South Korea and Japan resumed director-general-level dialogue today to discuss pending bilateral issues, including the compensation of Korean forced labor victims and Japan's trade restrictions.
It was the first of such talks since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office last month, but it appears little progress was made.
Yoon Jung-min reports.
South Korea and Japan held talks Thursday on a series of thorny issues,... but reportedly made little progress.
The Director-General for Asia and Pacific Affairs at Seoul's foreign ministry, Kim Jung-han, sat down in Seoul with his Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki.
According to the foreign ministry, Kim asked that Tokyo take a more sincere approach to compensating the Korean victims of wartime forced labor.
To compensate them, based on a South Korean court order, the local assets of a Japanese company are set to be liquidated.
Kim also called for Japan to withdraw its export curbs on Seoul, saying the restrictions are "unjust."
On these issues, however, the Japanese side is said to have simply reiterated its own stance.
But sources did say Japan seemed more willing to engage in talks under Suga's leadership.
As for regional issues, Kim called for a trilateral summit to be held between South Korea, Japan and China in Seoul this year.
On the issue of Fukushima, the South Korean official expressed deep concerns about Japan's plan to dump radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.
The Japanese diplomat, who is also in charge of nuclear affairs, also met on Thursday with Seoul's top nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon.
They exchanged views on working together for complete denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Seoul's foreign ministry said it will continue engaging in dialogue with Tokyo for the denuclearization of North Korea... and on pending issues regarding Pyeongyang.
"Having finished the first director level dialogue since Japanese Prime Minister Suga took office in September, the Japanese diplomat is expected to leave Seoul on Friday.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News."

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