Kang holds bilateral talks with Chinese, Japanese counterparts over peninsula peace

SEOUL, South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has held bilateral talks with her Chinese and Japanese counterparts over Seoul's drive for inter-Korean rapprochement and peace, her office said Thursday.

Kang held the separate meetings with Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers, Wang Yi and Taro Kono, respectively, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Wednesday (local time).

The talks followed the inter-Korean summit earlier this month where Pyongyang agreed to take additional denuclearization steps, such as shutting down its key missile engine test site and launch pad on its west coast in the presence of international experts, and closing the main Yongbyon nuclear complex should Washington take "corresponding" measures.

The agreement has set the mood for the resumption of the U.S.-North Korea denuclearization negotiations that have been stalled with neither side willing to give ground.

During her talks with Wang, Kang called for Beijing to continue to play a "constructive" role in the ongoing efforts for denuclearization and a lasting peace regime on the peninsula, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

In response, Wang noted the need for Seoul and Beijing to maintain close communication and cooperation to ensure that the peninsula issue can be settled peacefully.

During the meeting with Kono, Kang stressed the need for tight cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo to achieve substantive progress in promoting the peninsula's denuclearization and establishing peace. Kono agreed.

Kang also made a call for Japan to work together to "wisely" resolve the issue regarding the foundation established to respect and support the South Korean victims of Tokyo's wartime sexual slavery.

During his summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe in New York on Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in hinted at the possible dissolution of the foundation, citing resistance from the surviving victims and many South Korean citizens.

The foundation was established with the fund Tokyo provided in accordance with the 2015 agreement with Seoul to address the sex slavery issue that has long been an irritant in bilateral ties.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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