S Korea, Japan seek better ties amid NKorea missile tensions

Nov 13, 2022, 7:12 AM | Updated: 1:49 pm
Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hand with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol ...

Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, shake hand with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol during the ASEAN - East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Cambodia, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed Sunday to keep up efforts to resolve their thorny historical disputes as they’re pushing to bolster security cooperation with the United States to better deal with North Korean nuclear threats.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met twice on the sidelines of a regional gathering in Cambodia — with U.S. President Joe Biden and then bilaterally.

After the bilateral meeting, Kishida told reporters that he and Yoon reaffirmed their earlier agreement to work toward quickly resolving the issue of Japan’s wartime mobilization of Korean laborers during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Yoon’s office said in a statement the two leaders assessed that there have been active communications between their diplomats on “a current issue between the two countries,” in an apparent reference to the forced laborers. The statement said the two leaders agreed to continue consultations to find an early resolution on the issue.

The two countries, both key U.S. allies, have been embroiled in a long-running spat over 2018 court rulings in Seoul that ordered two Japanese companies to compensate some of the Korean laborers or their families.

The ruling plunged bilateral ties to their lowest point in decades, as the companies and the Japanese government argued that all compensation issues had already been settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized the countries’ relations and refused to comply with the verdicts. The countries later downgraded each other’s trade status and Seoul threatened to abandon an intelligence-sharing deal.

The South Korea-Japan wrangling has complicated U.S. efforts to reinforce a trilateral security alliance with its Asian allies in the face of an increasingly assertive China and an advancing North Korean nuclear program.

South Korean and Japan have been seeking to find ways to resolve the disputes since the May inauguration of Yoon, a conservative who wants to bolter Seoul’s military alliance with the U.S. and improve ties with Japan. Some experts say North Korea’s provocative run of missile tests in recent months has also helped bring Seoul and Tokyo closer together as both are placed within the striking distance of North Korean missiles and feel the need to buttress a security cooperation with the United States.

In their bilateral summit Sunday, Yoon and Kishida renewed their condemnation of the North Korean missile tests that they called “a serious, grave provocation” that undermined regional and international peace, according to Yoon’s office. Kishida also said he and Yoon confirmed their cooperation on North Korea issues.

In talks with Biden, the three leaders said in a joint statement that they will work together to strengthen deterrence and ensure all relevant sanctions on North Korea are fully enforced. Biden also reiterated that the U.S. commitment to defend Japan and South Korea is “ironclad” and backed by the full range of capabilities, including nuclear.

In September, Yoon and Kishida held their first talks on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and agreed to accelerate efforts to mend their countries’ ties. That meeting was the first summit between the countries since December 2019.

__

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee discuss proposed changes to the primar...
Associated Press

Dems move to make South Carolina, not Iowa, 1st voting state

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats voted Friday to remove Iowa as the leadoff state on the presidential nominating calendar and replace it with South Carolina starting in 2024, a dramatic shakeup championed by President Joe Biden to better reflect the party’s deeply diverse electorate. The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm made the move to strip Iowa […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Republican Kent contests results of Washington state race

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent’s campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. “We believe the election workers did their best to ensure a fair election and count the ballots accurately,” his campaign said in a statement. “But given the […]
19 hours ago
FILE - In this May 24, 2004 file photo, a Mount Graham red squirrel darts through trees on Mount Gr...
Associated Press

Endangered red squirrel found in Arizona sees increase in population

The latest survey shows another increase in the population of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel in the Pinaleno Mountains of Arizona.
19 hours ago
FILE - Johnny Hincapie raises his fist as he leaves the courthouse in New York, Jan. 25, 2017. Atto...
Associated Press

Man to receive almost $18 million for wrongful NY conviction

A man who was freed in 2015 after spending a quarter-century in prison for an infamous tourist killing will receive nearly $18 million in legal settlements from the city and state of New York, his attorneys confirmed Friday. Lawyers for Johnny Hincapie said it marks one of the largest settlements for a wrongful conviction in […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Mamie King-Chalmers, woman in civil rights photo, dies at 81

DETROIT (AP) — Mamie King-Chalmers, who as a young Black woman appeared in an iconic photo about civil rights struggles in Alabama, has died at the age of 81. She died Tuesday in Detroit, her home since the 1970s, daughter Lasuria Allman said. A cause wasn’t disclosed. King-Chalmers, 21 at the time, was one of […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Nebraska man gets prison for leaving noose for coworker

LA VISTA, Neb. (AP) — A former employee at the Oriental Trading Co. has been sentenced to prison for leaving a noose on a floor scrubber that a Black colleague was set to use. The Nebraska U.S. Attorney’s office said Bruce Quinn, 66, was sentenced Friday to four months in prison and one year of […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
S Korea, Japan seek better ties amid NKorea missile tensions