Seoul has confirmed that it sent high-level officials to Japan to help arrange South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon’s scheduled visit to the country this week.
Lee will depart for Tokyo on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee on Monday that first vice minister Cho Sei-young flew to Japan on Sunday along with the ministry’s director-general for Asian and Pacific affairs, Kim Jung-han.
Kang explained their visit was also aimed at facilitating various levels of dialogue with Tokyo, but declined to comment on whether the officials had successful talks with their Japanese counterparts. The minister said she was told discussions were held “in earnest.”
There was speculation the officials were trying to coordinate on some pending issues between the two countries ahead of the prime minister’s three-day visit, including the South Korean top court rulings on Japan’s wartime forced labor and Japan’s export curbs against South Korea.