News / Asia

Japan, South Korea Hold High-level Talks Amid Strained Ties

Japan's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Akitaka Saiki, right, shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yong before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
Japan's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Akitaka Saiki, right, shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yong before their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
VOA News
South Korea and Japan held vice ministerial-level talks Wednesday in Seoul to discuss improving strained relations.

The meeting between Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki and his South Korean counterpart Cho Tae-yong is the countries' highest-level diplomatic interaction in months.

Relations between the two Asian powers have plummeted over what Seoul considers Tokyo's unapologetic stance toward Japan's imperialist past. Ties have also suffered over a territorial dispute.

Japanese officials said Saiki was to use the meeting to propose a trilateral summit between leaders of Japan, South Korea and the United States later this month. There has been no South Korean response to the reported offer.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has refused to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe until he first makes a move to improve relations.

The two countries have not held high-level talks since December, when Abe visited a Tokyo shrine that honors several war criminals, among other war dead.

Seoul has also expressed frustration over what it sees as Tokyo's denial that it forced as many as 200,000 Asian women, mainly South Koreans, to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War Two.

Both countries also claim a group of rocky islands, known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan. The islets are thought to be surrounded by potential energy deposits. They have been under effective South Korean control since the end of Japanese colonial rule after World War II.

Last week, Danny Russel, the top U.S. diplomat on East Asia, called on Japan and South Korea to take steps to improve ties, saying it could jeopardize an important Asian security alliance.

Russel said both countries share many of the same challenges, including North Korea and its nuclear weapons program and other "regional uncertainties."

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid