The Korea Herald


Ex-foreign minister questions Korea's efforts to improve ties with Japan

By KH디지털2

Published : Nov. 26, 2015 - 13:25

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South Korea should reflect on whether it has done enough to improve its stormy ties with Japan, a former South Korean foreign minister said Thursday.

Yu Myung-hwan, who served as Seoul's top diplomat from 2008-2010 under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration, made the remark during a symposium on South Korea-Japan ties, which mark the 50th anniversary of normalization this year.

Relations between the two countries, however, have been strained due to disputes over issues stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

"I think there's a need to think about whether South Korea-Japan relations worsened even despite sufficient efforts on our part," he said at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. "In English, it's called complacency."

Yu said his first and last overseas assignments during his 40-year diplomatic career were to Japan in 1976 and 2007-2008.

The 1965 normalization treaty was made possible through political will despite difficult conditions at home and abroad, he said.

"I think we should build a new paradigm toward the next 50 years of South Korea-Japan relations," he said. "I think we should create a new framework that is free from the history of the past, oriented toward the future, without placing a burden on future generations under a win-win atmosphere." (Yonhap)