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Korean FM to visit Japan this week for talks on pending issues

South Korea's top diplomat will visit Japan this week to discuss North Korea and pending bilateral issues, the foreign ministry here said Sunday.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will leave for Tokyo on Tuesday for a two-day stay for talks with her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, according to the ministry. It will mark the first visit by a Korean foreign minister to Japan since June 2015. 

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa (Yonhap)
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa (Yonhap)

"During the meeting to be held on Tuesday, the two ministers will exchange views on issues of mutual concern, such as South Korea-Japan relations, North Korea and its nuclear problem," the ministry said in a press release.

The meeting comes after North Korea test-fired what it claims to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile in late November. It also declared completion of its nuclear armament.

South Korea and Japan have seen their ties chilled over a controversial deal reached in 2015 to put an end to the long-running feud over Tokyo's wartime sexual slavery of Korean women.

The Moon Jae-in government, which took office in May, has said that the deal reached under its predecessor does not reflect public sentiment and that there appear to be procedural problems.

A task force is currently reviewing how the deal was reached and expected to provide its assessment on the matter to the government by the end of this month.

Historians estimate that up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced into sexual servitude during World War II. (Yonhap)