Foreign ministers of S. Korea and Japan to meet to discuss bilateral ties, N.K.

SEOUL, The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan will meet this week to exchange views on the North Korea nuclear problem and other issues of mutual concern, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will meet with her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono in Seoul on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Kono will arrive here later Tuesday for a two-day stay. This will be his first visit here since taking office as Japan's top diplomat in August last year and marks the first trip by a Japanese foreign minister since December 2015.

The two are expected to discuss South Korea-Japan relations, North Korea and the nuclear problem and other issues of mutual concern, foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk told a regular press briefing.

His visit comes as South Korea and the United States are preparing to hold their respective summits with North Korea this month and in May, respectively. The two Koreas plan to hold their summit talks on April 27.

Japan is said to be concerned about possibly being sidelined from the current efforts to resolve the issue of the North's nuclear program, which are mostly being led by South Korea and the U.S.

Seoul and Tokyo have seen their bilateral ties fray recently over such issues as Japan's wartime sexual slavery of Korean women and its unwarranted claims to South Korea's eastern islets of Dokdo.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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