Japanese FM in Seoul to discuss bilateral ties, DPRK issues

11:34, January 16, 2011      

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South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan (L) and his Japanese counterpart Seiji Maehara shake hands during their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 15, 2011. Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Saturday met with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan here, to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). (Xinhua/Pool)
Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Saturday met with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung- hwan here, to exchange views on bilateral relations and issues related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

In a news conference following their meeting, the two ministers reaffirmed that, in order to make substantive progress in denuclearization, the DPRK should demonstrate its sincerity to create conditions for the long-stalled six-party talks.

Inter-Korean dialogue should be the starting point for more bilateral and multilateral talks with the DPRK, they noted.

On the DPRK's proposals on inter-Korean dialogue, Kim said, Seoul has repeatedly made it clear that Pyongyang should adopt responsible measures on the sinking of a South Korean warship and the artillery shelling on Yeonpeyong Island, as well as display its seriousness on denuclearization through specific actions. Seoul has put forward dialogue proposal on discussing these issues, and now is waiting for Pyongyang's response, Kim added.

Maehara, on his part, said he and Kim reaffirmed that, to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia, there needs to be a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear, missile issues and the kidnapping of Japanese citizens by the DPRK.

On bilateral ties, Kim said he and Maehara agreed to lay a foundation for the two countries' future-oriental cooperative relationship, and work closely to cope with change of situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The two ministers agreed to continue close cooperation to realize the returning of centuries-old royal Korean books to Seoul at an early date. Kim also hoped that Tokyo would make more efforts to solve other historic problems such as the "comfort women" issue.

On security cooperation between the two nations, Kim said the two sides agreed that it should be pushed ahead with an aim to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and contribute to international community, adding that the two governments will make further consultations on the issue.

On his part, Maehara said the two sides also reached a consensus on proceeding with two-way cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo, and trilateral cooperation among Seoul, Tokyo and Washington.

Tokyo will respect Seoul's opinion on security cooperation due to its "sensibility", and will do more discussions with the South Korean government based on the results of defense ministers' meeting earlier this week, he added.

Maehara also hoped to early resume free trade talks with Seoul, and the two sides agreed to keep working closely to create the right atmosphere for it.

Maehara arrived in Seoul earlier Saturday. It is the Japanese top diplomat's first visit to Seoul since taking office last September. He had originally planned to arrive in Seoul on Friday for a two-day visit to South Korea, but postponed it and cut it to one day due to a cabinet reshuffle in his country.

He is also expected to meet with Seoul's Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, and to pay a courtesy call to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.


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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90783/91321/7262153.pdf