South Korea and Japan are pushing ahead with a plan to hold foreign ministerial talks on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich this week to discuss the controversial issue of compensation for wartime labor, a Japanese daily reported on Feb. 13, 2019.
The Yomiuri Shimbun said the two countries are arranging the talks between Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono as they are expected to be in the German city to attend the annual three-day Munich Security Conference to be held from Friday.
Topping the agenda in the envisioned talks is how Seoul will respond to Tokyo's request to launch talks over a series of South Korean Supreme Court rulings against Japanese firms for forced labor against Koreans during World War II, when Korea was under Japan's 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.
Kang and Kono last met on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss city of Davos on Jan. 23.
If the Kang-Kono talks are held in Munich, Tokyo is expected to urge Seoul to hold formal diplomatic consultations with South Korea on the issue.
On Feb. 12, 2019, Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, called in Kim Kyung-han, a minister at the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo, to answer the Japanese demand. (Yonhap)