September 26, 2022
International

  First bilateral discussions between South Korea and Japan since 2019 aim to forge closer ties

  First bilateral discussions between South Korea and Japan since 2019 aim to forge closer ties

UN/SEOUL: Yoon Suk-yeol, the president of South Korea, and Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, met for the first time on Wednesday and decided to mend their strained relations because of old disagreements. The leaders of the two nations had their first encounter in 2019 during the UN General Assembly in New York.

Yoon, who became in office in May, has been eager to strengthen ties with Tokyo, which have been strained by disagreements related to Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, at a time when both nations must contend with North Korea’s expanding nuclear and missile threats.

The significance of strategic collaboration has also been emphasized by Japan.According to Yoon’s deputy spokeswoman Lee Jae-young, “the two leaders agreed on the necessity to strengthen relations by resolving outstanding concerns, for which they decided to speed diplomatic talks while maintaining discussions between themselves.”

Lee pointed out that the leaders’ main worries over North Korea’s nuclear program were the country’s most law recently allowing the initial use of nuclear weapons and the possibility that it would begin nuclear testing for the first time since 2017. The 30-minute encounter was characterized as “casual” by both parties.

According to her, they decided to build their relationship “on the foundation of the friendly and cooperative relationship that both countries developed since the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965” in a way that is “future-oriented.”

Yoon and Kishida initially met in June at the NATO summit in Madrid and also during a trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden, but their encounter on Wednesday marked the first time they had sat down for one-on-one discussions.

 

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