South Korea, Japan hold first bilateral talks since 2019

South Korea, Japan hold first bilateral talks since 2019.

Seoul, The Gulf Observer: South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held their first one-on-one talks on Wednesday and agreed on the need to improve relations dogged by historical disputes.

The meeting took place in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, the first such talks between leaders of the two countries since 2019, according to media reports.

Yoon, who took office in May, has been keen to improve relations with Tokyo. Japan has also stressed the importance of strategic cooperation.

“The two leaders agreed on the need to improve relations by resolving pending issues, for which they agreed to accelerate diplomatic talks while continuing discussions between themselves,” Yoon’s deputy spokesperson, Lee Jae-myoung, said in a statement.

Both sides described the meeting, which lasted 30 minutes, as “informal”.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Hikariko Ono said the two leaders “shared the need to bring back the sound bilateral relationship with the resolution of various issues. “She said they agreed to develop relations “in a future-oriented manner based on the foundation of the friendly and cooperative relationship that both countries built since the normalization of diplomatic relations in 1965.”