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Unification minister discusses cooperation on N. Korea with top Japanese officials

By Yonhap

Published : March 24, 2023 - 11:14

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Unification Minister Kwon Young-se (Center on left side) talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (on opposite side) in Tokyo on Thursday. ( Ministry of Unification) Unification Minister Kwon Young-se (Center on left side) talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi (on opposite side) in Tokyo on Thursday. ( Ministry of Unification)

South Korea's unification minister had discussions with top Japanese government officials on ways to bolster cooperation over North Korea's nuclear and missile problems and the issue of those abducted by the North decades ago, according to his office Friday.

Kwon Young-se had talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno in Tokyo on Thursday, the second day of his four-day trip to Japan, it said.

At a meeting with Hayashi, Kwon proposed the creation of a consultative channel between Seoul's unification ministry and Japan's foreign ministry, citing the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation amid the North's continued provocations.

He also discussed with Matsuno ways to coordinate efforts to address the issue of South Korean and Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North following the 1950-53 Korean War, and the matter of the two Koreas' families separated by the war.

Later in the day, Kwon plans to meet with top Japanese politicians, including Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and South Korean correspondents in Japan.

Kwon's trip came amid South Korea's efforts to mend long-frayed ties with Japan and bolster trilateral cooperation with Washington and Tokyo to better cope with the North's nuclear and missile threats. (Yonhap)