S. Korea, Japan explore possibility of talks between their top diplomats: sources

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 17, 2019 - 17:38
  • Updated : Sept 17, 2019 - 17:38

South Korea and Japan are exploring the possibility of their top diplomats holding talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week, though nothing has been decided yet, multiple sources here said Tuesday.

Should they meet, it will mark the first face-to-face talks between Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her new Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi since Tokyo's top diplomat was appointed in last week's Cabinet reshuffle.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (left) and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (right) (AFP-Yonhap)

Their talks would come amid high tensions caused by Japan's new export restrictions seen as political retribution for last year's South Korean Supreme Court rulings against Japanese firms over wartime forced labor.

"As it would be their first face-to-face encounter (should the talks materialize), they may discuss matters of mutual interest," an official at Seoul's foreign ministry told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Expectations have also emerged that Seoul and Tokyo could hold director-general-level talks before their possible ministerial meeting.

Should the talks be arranged, Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asian and Pacific Affairs at Seoul's foreign ministry, and his new Japanese counterpart, Shigeki Takizaki, would also meet for the first time in their current posts. (Yonhap)