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Korea, U.S. discuss Japan’s review of Kono Statement

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) ― South Korea and the United States had high-level consultations here Tuesday on a broad range of issues, including Seoul-Tokyo stand-offs over their shared history, officials said.

In the so-called strategic dialogue with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong reiterated Seoul’s strong concern over the recent review by the conservative Japanese administration of a landmark 1993 apology for wartime sex slavery, known as the Kono Statement.

The Abe government did not annul the statement itself, but it claimed there was no clear evidence that Japan forced Korean and other Asian women to serve as sex slaves for its troops during World War II.

The move enraged South Korea, adding fuel to already stained bilateral ties.

Cho and Burns also talked about the possibility of additional North Korean provocations, the timing of Seoul regaining operational control of its troops in the event of war and new rules on bilateral cooperation on civilian nuclear energy development, said officials.

Cho is on his first trip to Washington, D.C., since assuming the post in March.

His trip comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to South Korea early next month.

Cho also had a series of meetings with senior U.S. officials, including Daniel Russel. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, and Glyn Davies, special representative for North Korea policy.

He will also meet with Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken and Evan Medeiros, senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council.
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