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Korea, Japan hold working-level talks on bilateral ties

Dec. 5, 2023 - 21:45 By Yonhap
Kim Gunn, Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs (left), shakes hands with senior Japanese diplomat Hiroyuki Namazu, Tuesday. (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Korea and Japan held working-level diplomatic consultations Tuesday to discuss pending bilateral issues and ways to boost bilateral ties, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Seo Min-jung, director general for Asia and Pacific affairs at South Korea's foreign ministry, met with her Japanese counterpart Hiroyuki Namazu to assess bilateral relations and exchange views on "issues of shared interest," the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry didn't give details, but there had been expectations they could discuss such issues as comfort women and compensation for forced labor victims during World War II.

Seo held talks with her Japanese opposite number for the first time since the latter assumed his post in August, according to the ministry.

Separately, Namazu held talks with Kim Gunn, Korea's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, to assess the security situation on the peninsula, including North Korea's launch of its first spy military satellite last month.

They slammed Pyongyang for launching the reconnaissance satellite and announcing its suspension of the September 19 inter-Korean military pact, a deal signed in 2018 between then President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to dial down military tensions and prevent accidental clashes, according to the ministry.

Namazu, director general for the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, doubles as Tokyo's chief nuclear envoy.