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Yoon says he and Kishida agreed on benefit of improving bilateral ties

Diplomacy 10:25 October 07, 2022

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol said Friday he and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed on the benefit of improving bilateral relations for the two countries' economies.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived for work, Yoon said he discussed North Korea's recent ballistic missile launches with Kishida during their Thursday phone call and the two agreed to firmly respond to the North's nuclear and missile provocations through close trilateral cooperation between their countries and the United States.

He also said he agreed with Kishida's remarks in parliament that South Korea is a partner with which various global issues can be tackled.

"We shared the understanding that if relations between South Korea and Japan return to the good times of the past at an early date and exchanges between businesses and between our people become smooth, it will be of great help to the two countries' economies," he said.

Yoon and Kishida spoke for 25 minutes in the wake of a series of North Korean missile launches, including one that flew over Japan earlier this week.

The call came weeks after the two held their first summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, which raised hopes of improving bilateral relations badly frayed over wartime forced labor and other issues related to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

During their call, Yoon and Kishida strongly condemned the North's missile launches as "serious and grave provocative acts," and agreed their countries should work together to respond strictly while also agreeing on the need to warn the regime that its provocations come with consequences, the presidential office said.

These photos show South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (L) talking with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over the phone at the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 6, 2022, and Kishida answering reporters' questions at his residence in Tokyo right after phone talks with Yoon. The talks were held in the wake of North Korea's latest launch of two short-range missiles into the East Sea earlier in the day. The photos were provided by Yoon's office and Kyodo News, respectively. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

These photos show South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol (L) talking with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over the phone at the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 6, 2022, and Kishida answering reporters' questions at his residence in Tokyo right after phone talks with Yoon. The talks were held in the wake of North Korea's latest launch of two short-range missiles into the East Sea earlier in the day. The photos were provided by Yoon's office and Kyodo News, respectively. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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