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Japan, S. Korea eye foreign ministers' talks on fringes of U.N. meet


Japan and South Korea are making arrangements for a meeting between their foreign ministers on the sidelines of a new session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se last held one-on-one talks in Brunei on July 1 on the fringes of a ministerial meeting of the so-called ASEAN Regional Forum.

The focus of the envisioned meeting is whether the two sides, whose relations have suffered over a territorial dispute and other disagreements, would be able to make progress in realizing the first summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun Hye.

Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama visited South Korea for three days through Wednesday and held a meeting with Kim Kyou Hyun, the first vice foreign minister of South Korea, apparently to make arrangements for the envisioned foreign ministerial talks.

Bilateral ties have soured due mainly to the dispute over a pair of islets in the Sea of Japan and the interpretation of history by the Abe government, which Seoul says has failed to squarely face Japan's conduct before and during World War II.