(LEAD) S. Korean FM to make 3-day trip to Japan next week
(ATTN: ADDS info, background throughout)
SEOUL, July 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin will embark on a three-day trip to Japan next week to discuss areas of bilateral relations and North Korea, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.
Park's trip from Monday to Wednesday will be the first by a foreign minister to the neighboring country under the new South Korean administration led by President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The ministry said Park will "hold a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and discuss issues of mutual interest, such as Korea-Japan relations and the Korean Peninsula issue."
Park will also express condolences over the recent death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the ministry added.
The last time a South Korean foreign minister traveled to Japan for bilateral ministerial talks was in December of 2017.
On Monday, the foreign minister paid his respects to the late Abe in Seoul at the Japanese embassy's public information and cultural center. Park mourned Abe's death and offered his condolences, three days after he was fatally shot during an election campaign speech.
The minister said earlier this week that the Yoon administration will keep striving for a "reasonable resolution" to pending issues between Seoul and Tokyo through various related efforts, including his visit to Japan "at a mutually convenient time."
The topic of settling the row over compensating Korean victims of Japan's forced labor during World War II, when Korea was under colonial rule, could also be discussed during the trip.
South Korea's Supreme Court is expected to issue a final verdict in August or September on whether to allow the liquidation of assets held by two Japanese companies. If realized, it would deal a serious blow to already-fragile efforts to resolve the problem and warm Seoul-Tokyo ties.
The foreign ministers could also exchange views on the Japanese ruling bloc's push for a controversial revision to the nation's pacifist constitution, a highly sensitive subject matter for South Koreans, which has apparently gained political momentum after Abe's death.
Actor Yoo Ah-in appears for questioning over alleged drug use
N. Korea fires ballistic missile toward East Sea: S. Korean military
(2nd LD) N. Korea fires 2 SRBMs toward East Sea; U.S. aircraft carrier due in S. Korea for joint training
N. Korean propaganda outlets slam S. Korea-U.S. amphibious exercise
(URGENT) N. Korea fires ballistic missile toward East Sea: S. Korean military
Yoon puts S. Korea-Japan relations back on track
Japan's removal of export curbs on S. Korea to boost supply chain stability, ease biz uncertainties
Yoon's summit with Biden to highlight S. Korea's 'pivotal' role in region: U.S. experts
(News Focus) Solution to forced labor issue shows Yoon's commitment to improving ties with Japan
Seoul's controversial plan for forced labor compensation reflects urgency of security partnership with Tokyo: experts