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Foreign minister pushes to visit Japan this year: spokesman

All Headlines 15:22 December 12, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry confirmed Tuesday that top diplomat Kang Kyung-wha is pushing to visit Japan by the end of year, adding that relevant discussions are under way between the two countries.

"Detailed schedules are being arranged with Japan," Noh Kyu-duk, foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular briefing. "It would take place within this year."

It would mark the first visit by a Korean foreign minister to Japan since July 2015.

South Korea and Japan saw their ties chilled over a controversial deal reached in 2015 to put an end to the long-running feud over Tokyo's wartime sexual slavery of Korean women.

The Moon Jae-in government, which took office in May, has said that the deal reached under its predecessor does not reflect public sentiment and that there appear to be procedural problems.

A task force is currently reviewing how the deal was reached and is to provide its assessment on the matter to the government by the end of this month.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced into sexual servitude during World War II. The number of surviving South Korean victims stands at 33.

Earlier, a media report said that Kang's trip could come before the task force's announcement of its monthslong review.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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