Unification minister Kwon Young-se says he proposed the establishment of regular communication channels to Japan’s foreign minister and chief cabinet secretary.
Speaking to South Korean media in Tokyo on Friday during his visit to Japan, Kwon said that he floated the idea in his meeting with Japan’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi the previous day.
Hayashi reportedly promised to carefully review the proposal involving the creation of a communication channel in the form of a vice minister-level dialogue and a consultative body that would regularly exchange views on state affairs.
In his meeting with Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno later that day, Kwon said he proposed a channel to facilitate regular communication between his ministry’s Humanitarian Cooperation Bureau and the Japanese secretary.
He explained that Matsuno is charged with issues related to the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea while the Humanitarian Cooperation Bureau handles matters concerning defectors, those detained in the North and separated families.
The minister said that Matsuno also agreed to carefully review the proposal.
Asked about the possibility that the leaders of South Korea, Japan and China will sit down for talks in the wake of last week's South Korea-Japan summit, Kwon, who had served as South Korea’s ambassador to China, said he is very optimistic of the prospects of such a three-nation summit.