S. Korean Defense Chief Says Ready for Dialogue with Japan

Politics

Singapore, June 12 (Jiji Press)--South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup said in a speech at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore Sunday that Seoul is willing to have a sincere dialogue with Japan to resolve pending bilateral issues.

Relations between Japanese and South Korean defense authorities deteriorated after a South Korean warship directed its radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force plane in December 2018.

Also in the speech, Lee touched on North Korea's preparations for its seventh nuclear test, pointing to the growing threat of nuclear missiles. Stressing the importance of cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea and that between Tokyo and Seoul, Lee said although there remain many pending issues between Japan and South Korea, Seoul will work on finding the best ways to achieve reasonable solutions.

On Saturday, Lee joined the first in-person meeting of defense chiefs of Japan, the United States and South Korea since November 2019. The three ministers agreed to conduct trilateral missile warning, search and tracking exercises, in response to North Korea's repeated missile launches, and make efforts to rebuild relations of trust between Japanese and South Korean defense authorities.

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