South Korea proposes summit talks with Japan

Seoul, Oct 26 (IANS) South Korea has proposed a summit meeting with Japan on the sidelines of a trilateral summit in Seoul next week that also includes China, said a presidential official on Monday.

President Park Geun-hye is set to host the leaders of China and Japan in what could be the resumption of a trilateral summit among the three neighbours in three years, Yonhap News Agency quoted the official as saying.

South Korea has offered November 2 as the date of the summit talks between President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“We are waiting for Japan’s response,” the official said.

The bilateral summit, if held, would be the first time that Park will meet with Abe one-on-one since taking office in early 2013.

Park has so far shunned bilateral talks with Abe due to his apparent refusal to acknowledge Japan’s responsibility for its past atrocities, including the Japanese military’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II.

Separately, Park is set to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday on the sidelines of the upcoming trilateral summit, said the official.

Li is scheduled to arrive in Seoul on Saturday for a three-day trip.

“The two leaders are expected to exchange opinions on how to develop relations between the two countries and various issues surrounding the region, including the Korean Peninsula, as well as international issues,” said the official.

A trilateral summit has not been held since May 2012 due to a territorial dispute between China and Japan, as well as Japan’s attempts to whitewash its wartime atrocities and colonial occupation.

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