S. Korea, Japan to hold foreign ministers' meeting in New York

Updated: 2015-09-25 14:25


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SEOUL - South Korea and Japan will hold a foreign ministers' meeting in New York next week when top foreign diplomats of the two nations visit the United States to attend the UN General Assembly, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida will meet in New York on Sept 30 to discuss the bilateral relations, regional cooperation and other issues of mutual interest, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Yun and Kishida, who had a separate meeting on Aug 6 in Malaysia during the ASEAN Regional Forum, will meet again in New York a day after holding a trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the city.

The foreign ministers are expected to discuss whether to hold a separate bilateral summit between South Korean President Park Geun- hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the upcoming trilateral summit between China, South Korea and Japan.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Park have agreed to hold a trilateral summit with Japan in Seoul in late October or early November during Park's visit to Beijing earlier this month.

President Park has refused to sit down face-to-face with Abe citing his wrong perception of history. South Korea has called for Japan to apologize and compensate for its forced recruitment of Korean women as sex slaves for its military brothels during World War II, but Japan has claimed that all issues on the sex slavery were resolved with the 1965 treaty that normalized diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

Yun and Kishida would highly likely discuss the sex slavery issue during the upcoming talks in New York.

The two diplomats are also expected to talk about the enactment in Japan of the controversial security legislation.

South Korea has reiterated its position that Japan must win consent or request from South Korea before its right to collective self-defense is exercised on the Korean Peninsula as the enacted security bills allow Japan's troops to fight overseas for the first time since the end of World War II.