(2nd LD) South Korea and Japan FM agree on the need for early resolution of the forced labor problem

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Seoul / Tokyo, July 18 (Yonhap News Agency)-Top Korean and Japanese diplomats agreed on Monday the need for early resolution of a long-term dispute over South Korean victims of wartime forced labor.

Foreign Minister Park Jin and Yoshimasa Hayashi will meet in Tokyo to discuss how to restore the sour bilateral relations and resolve historical feuds that began with Japan’s colonial rule in 1910-45. rice field. Park arrived early in the day on his first official visit since taking office in May.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Park said that the Seoul government will make efforts to draw out a “reasonable solution” related to the forced labor problem, and both sides shared the view that the problem needs to be resolved promptly. The Seoul Ministry said in an announcement.

In 2018, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel to compensate for the victims of forced labor in South Korea, but the two companies were based on a 1965 agreement aimed at normalizing bilateral diplomatic relations. Claimed that all compensation issues had been resolved and refused to pay them.

How will South Korean forced labor victims be compensated as the South Korean Supreme Court is expected to make a final decision on whether to allow the liquidation of assets held by two Japanese companies at the earliest in August. The question of whether or not it has a new urgency.

Tokyo officials have asked the Seoul government to come up with a reasonable solution to avoid the liquidation of Japanese companies.

A new South Korean public-private organization, launched earlier this month, is still working to come up with concrete suggestions on how to solve a nasty problem.

Possible solutions proposed by observers include the creation of funds with donations from Korean and Japanese companies, or the Korean government to compensate victims on behalf of Japanese companies.

Ministers will also discuss the latest security situation on the Korean Peninsula on a one-on-one basis, agree to rigorously address North Korea’s additional provocations, and pursue a “flexible and open diplomatic approach” to North Korea. I left the door to dialogue open. According to the ministry.

Prime Minister Park and Prime Minister Hayashi will attend a trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Group 20 meeting in Bali in early July to strengthen trilateral cooperation on North Korea-related issues. Reaffirmed its commitment.

The conservative Yun administration has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to improve relations between Seoul and Tokyo in parallel with strengthening trilateral security cooperation involving Washington in response to rising threats from North Korea. ing.

Prime Minister Park told reporters shortly before his departure that both sides would have a “comprehensive discussion” on various open issues, including information sharing agreements.

He has previously “normalized” the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA), which has been widely regarded as underutilized since 2019, when the Moon Jae-in administration decided to “conditionally” postpone it. He raised the need for Seoul and Tokyo. Expired in protest of Tokyo’s unilateral export restraint on Seoul.

It is unclear whether his trip will bring GSOMIA’s operations back to normal and a breakthrough in efforts to restore the long-tensioned relationship between Seoul and Tokyo due to the history and territorial lines. (2nd LD) South Korea and Japan FM agree on the need for early resolution of the forced labor problem

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