Top Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan Confirm Gaps at Paris Talks

Write : 2019-05-24 11:52:31 Update : 2019-05-24 14:58:35

Top Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan Confirm Gaps at Paris Talks

Anchor: The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan discussed Seoul court rulings ordering Japanese companies to compensate Korean victims of Tokyo's forced wartime labor. The two sides also discussed South Korea's import ban on Japanese seafood at a meeting in Paris, but they appear far from resolving their differences. 
Kim Bum-soo reports. 

Report: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono raised issue with South Korean Supreme Court rulings that ordered Japanese companies to remunerate Korean victims of forced wartime labor. 

During a meeting on the sidelines of an international conference in Paris on Thursday, Kono singled out comments made by South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kim In-chul. 

[Sound bite: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono (Japanese)]
"I understand that the South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said there is no problem with Japanese companies' implementation of the South Korean Supreme Court's rulings." 
"This is a serious remark that does not understand the gravity of the situation. Remarks like this make Japan-South Korea relations difficult." 

Kim said there would be "no problems" for Japanese firms to comply with court orders.   

Following the talks, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters that she called for caution in communicating messages. 

[Sound bite: S. Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kang Kyung-wha (Korean)] 
(Reporter: Japan said the Foreign Ministry statement came without acknowledging the gravity of the situation?) 
"I responded to that. Our position is that the two sides should be prudent and cautious in issuing messages."   

Kang affirmed that Japan called for forming an arbitration panel over the issue, adding that Seoul would review the matter carefully. 

The Foreign Ministry in Seoul said Kang also stressed during the meeting that Japan needs to help heal the pain and suffering of the victims of forced wartime labor. 

During the meeting, Seoul and Tokyo also touched on the sensitive issue of South Korea's import ban on Japanese seafood amid lingering fears of radiation contamination.  

It was the third meeting this year between the top diplomats of South Korea and Japan. However, it remains unclear if the two countries will be able to narrow gaps on key issues before South Korean President Moon Jae-in flies to Japan in June for the G20 summit. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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