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S. Korea, Japan hold bilateral meeting in Beijing amid high tensions between two sides

21/08/2019

The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan met in Beijing about an hour ago. We don't know much about the meeting yet, but it's expected to have been tough. For more we connect live to our Lee Ji-won who's at Seoul's foreign ministry.  Ji-won tell us what you know.

Devin. So from three to three thirty Korea time, Seoul's foreign affairs minister Kang Kyung-wha is known to have met with minister Taro Kono on the sidelines of the 9th Seoul-Beijing-Tokyo foreign affairs ministers' talks that took place earlier in the day. 

We do not yet have the details of what the two diplomats said to each other, and we're not expected to hear any groundbreaking news. 

Before leaving for Beijing on Tuesday, Kang had said that she will once again actively relay Seoul's stance on Japan's unfair trade restrictions on it.  

At the meeting, she is expected to have continued urging Japan to come to the negotiating table, while arguing that the export controls should be lifted. 

Now Japan is too, expected to have continued reiterating its stance that the restrictions were imposed due to "security reasons", while urging Seoul to intervene in its Supreme Court's orders for Japanese firms to compensate the Koreans forced to work for them during Japan's colonial rule.

A negative outlook for this meeting is supported by the results of their director-generals' meeting just the day before, where Japan made it clear that it will not resume talks related to its export restrictions. 

Meanwhile, the two ministers held a trilateral sitdown with their Chinese counterpart Wang Yi earlier today.

And at the press conference that followed, the ministers highlighted the importance of their trilateral cooperation. 

Minister Wang Yi, added that a correct view of history and a focus on the future is the basis of their cooperation and that maintaining good relationship is the driving force.

He urged Seoul and Tokyo to resolve their differences in a constructive manner, and said the three countries should support free trade and multilateralism. 

At his meeting with Minister Kang the day before, Wang Yi is known to have said that the two sides should resolve the issue through dialogue. 

That's all from me for now.

Source: Arirang