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Senior officials of S. Korea, Japan meet amid export row

Diplomacy 15:14 July 17, 2019

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- Vice Unification Minister Suh Ho met with a senior Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of Asian affairs and discussed North Korea and other Korean Peninsula issues, the ministry said Wednesday.

Suh's meeting in Tokyo with Kenji Kanasugi, director-general at the Japanese foreign ministry's Asian and Oceania affairs bureau, came as relations between the two countries are seriously strained after Tokyo imposed export restrictions in a row over wartime forced labor.

Kanasugi also serves as Japan's top nuclear envoy for North Korea.

"Vice Unification Minister Suh and Kenji Kanasugi, Japan's nuclear envoy, met in the afternoon and discussed situations related to North Korea and the Korean Peninsula," the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of a forum in Tokyo to discuss peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry added. It did not provide other details.

The unification ministry earlier said that Suh's trip to Japan had been arranged well before the row over export curbs erupted. It had declined to disclose who the vice minister would meet during his trip to Tokyo until Thursday in an apparent bid to make it a low-key event amid the brewing trade row.


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