The Korea Herald


S. Korea's vice foreign minister to visit Japan for talks

By 김정보

Published : July 14, 2013 - 09:54

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South Korea's vice foreign minister is expected to visit Japan next week, during which he may possibly discuss a  summit  between the two countries, diplomatic sources said Saturday.

Kim Kyou-hyun, Seoul's first vice minister for foreign affairs, plans to visit Tokyo for the opening ceremony Thursday of a new building for the South Korean embassy there.

Kim is expected to use the occasion to meet with his Japanese counterpart, Akitaka Saiki, and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the sources, requesting anonymity..

Saiki and Kim met in Seoul earlier this week when the Japanese official was here for a two-day trip. They reportedly discussed a possible summit between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Seoul and Tokyo have been unable to hold a summit since Park came into office in February as their relations soured over what Seoul believes to be Japan's renewed attempt to whitewash its colonial-era and wartime crimes.

Abe and other Japanese leaders have drawn criticism, likening Japan's Yasukuni shrine to the United States' Arlington National Cemetery. The Japanese shrine honors Japan's convicted World War II criminals.

Park held summit talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this year. (Yonhap News)