South Korea's foreign ministry has set up a task force to mainly deal with Seoul's shared history with Japan such as Tokyo's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, officials said Monday.
The ministry said the three-member task force under the Northeast Asian affairs bureau is charged with dealing with Japan's moves to gloss over its wartime atrocities.
The move comes as bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo have been strained to their lowest point in recent years due to Japan's stance on historical issues, including its recent review of the Kono statement, a landmark 1993 apology for its wartime sexual slavery.
In a speech marking the 69th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, South Korean President Park Geun-hye called Friday for Japanese leaders to have determination for a new future with Seoul.
She also urged them to show sincerity over historical issues as next year will be the 50th anniversary of their countries normalizing relations in 1965.
Seoul and Tokyo have held director general-level talks over the issue of sex slaves, commonly called "comfort women" since April, but Japan's review of its 1993 apology over the sexual slavery led to the suspension of the talks in June before they were resumed last month.
The two sides are likely to hold such meetings later in August, officials said. (Yonhap)