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South Korea agrees to summit with Japan, US despite unsolved issues

Posted on Mar 21 2014 | IANS

Seoul, March 21 : South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed Friday to sit down face-to-face with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe despite unsolved issues between Seoul and Tokyo over wartime history and territorial sovereignty.

Seoul's presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said that the South Korea-Japan-US summit would be held in The Hague in the Netherlands, Xinhua reported.

If the summit is held, it will be the first official meeting between Park and Abe since the two leaders took office more than a year ago.

Earlier, Park refused to meet one-on-one with Abe due to his wrong perception of history.

The three leaders will meet on the sidelines of the third Nuclear Security Summit March 24-25, where global leaders will gather to discuss how to prevent nuclear terrorism and protect nuclear material.

Chances for the summit became higher after Abe said last Friday that he and his cabinet will inherit the Kono and Murayama statements, and apologise for militaristic Japan's sex slavery and wartime aggression.

Park welcomed Abe's comments for the first time since her inauguration in February last year, but Seoul had stuck to its position that Japan's action to solve the "comfort women" issue should be required to make such summit possible.

The Kono Statement refers to an official apology made in 1993 by then Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yohei Kono, who acknowledged that Japan's imperialistic government was involved in the recruitment of more than 200,000 young women and forced them to serve in brothels.

South Korea has demanded the Abe cabinet's official apology and compensation for the "comfort women" victims.

The comfort woman is a euphemism for young women coerced into sex slavery for the Japanese military brothels during the World War II.

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