UPDATE : 2019.8.23 FRI 17:42
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S. Korea, Japan set for foreign ministerial talks in Davos amid strained ties

The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan will hold bilateral talks in Switzerland on Wednesday, attending a global forum, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

It remains unclear whether the meeting between Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her counterpart, Taro Kono, to be held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos will be a turning point in the relations between the neighboring countries.

Seoul-Tokyo ties have soured over shared history and a row over an incident involving the operation of military radar.

"In the talks, (the ministers) plan to have a broad range of discussions on pending bilateral issues, including ways to cooperate on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace, and matters of mutual concern," the ministry's spokesman Noh Kyu-duk told reporters.

A combined image of South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in a photo provided by Yonhap News TV

It will be their first meeting since a series of South Korean Supreme Court's rulings against Japanese firms for forced labor against Koreans during World War II, when Korea was under Japan's brutal colonization.

The court acknowledged the individual rights of victims to reparation, while Tokyo says all compensation-related issues were settled in a 1965 state-to-state deal to normalize bilateral diplomatic relations.

The Japanese government has called for formal diplomatic consultations with South Korea on the verdicts.

Defense authorities of the two sides have been at loggerheads as well over Tokyo's claim that a South Korean destroyer locked a fire-control radar against its maritime patrol aircraft operating in the East Sea in December.

South Korea's military dismissed the assertion as groundless, saying the warship was operating normally on a humanitarian search mission.

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.co.kr

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