South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed Monday to resolve a trade fight and other pending issues between the two sides through dialogue, Cheong Wa Dae said, as the leaders had their first official one-on-one "conversation" in more than a year.
They sat down together for 11 minutes right before the ASEAN Plus Three summit held at IMPACT Forum in Bangkok, Yonhap reports.
They agreed that Seoul-Tokyo relations are of importance and reaffirmed the "principle" of resolving pending bilateral issues through dialogue, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung.
They also expressed hope that the neighboring countries will hammer out ways for "substantive progress" in official consultations between their foreign ministries, she said.
Moon proposed a review of whether higher-level consultations are necessary, and Abe agreed to explore a resolution by use of "every available means," Ko added. She said they met in a "very friendly and serious" mood.
She characterized their impromptu meeting as a bilateral "conversation," neither formal talks nor a "pull-aside." Moon requested it without any prior consultations or preparations related to formality and agenda items, Ko pointed out.
Ko said the Moon-Abe meeting is expected to serve as a chance for the development of Seoul-Tokyo ties in a "more amicable, forward-looking" way.
I think it's time to pool wisdom on various methods in that process," she said.
Seoul-Tokyo relations have worsened since Tokyo's toughening of export curbs against Seoul in early July in apparent protest over historical issues.
Moon and Abe had their last official talks in September last year, when they attended a United Nations General Assembly session. They met each other in Osaka in late June during a Group of 20 summit.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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