S. Korea mulls bilateral talks with Japan at ASEAN forum: report

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se has been considering holding a one-on-one meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in Brunei early next month, Yonhap News Agency reported Wednesday, citing a diplomatic source.

South Korea "is considering holding one-on-one meetings with neighboring countries on the occasion of the ARF to discuss the denuclearization of North Korea," the source was quoted as saying.

The source said those countries included the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Meanwhile, South Korean Ambassador to Japan Lee Byung Kee on Tuesday made a proposal to Kishida that a foreign ministerial meeting between South Korea and Japan be held on the sidelines of the regional security conference on July 2.

The proposal was made during their first meeting at the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. The Japanese government is expected to agree to the proposal, sources close to the matter said.

During the meeting, Lee told Kishida that Japan and South Korea should do their utmost to stabilize the bilateral relationship, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

The Japanese and South Korean governments have been seeking to hold a bilateral meeting of foreign ministers to mend ties that have soured due to a territorial dispute over South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan as well as history-related disputes.

The islets, known as Dokdo in South Korea, are claimed by Japan, which calls them Takeshima.