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S. Korea to raise history issues in talks with Japan: official


By Kim Deok-hyun

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei, July 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se will raise history-related issues at bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart, a Seoul official said Monday, casting a shadow over the first ministerial meeting between the two nations since their new governments came to power.

Yun and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida are set to hold talks Monday afternoon on the sidelines of the annual security forum hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei.

"During the talks, Minister Yun plans to raise history-related issues and discuss about a series of recent situations triggered by the Japanese side," the foreign ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

"Our principle stance is that we will take a stern approach toward Japan with regards to history issues, while continuing cooperation in other outstanding matters," the official said.

Also at the top of the agenda will be how to better coordinate their policy toward North Korea, according to the official.

The planned Yun-Kishida meeting, to be held about an hour after trilateral talks here among Yun, Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry conclude, will be the first high-level bilateral talks between the countries since South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office in February.

The U.S. has been working to repair ties between South Korea and Japan with the aim of bolstering three-way coordination against North Korea's nuclear standoff.

Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45. Seoul-Tokyo ties have deteriorated recently over a series of controversial remarks and actions by Japanese leaders glossing over their country's colonial and wartime atrocities.

Yun canceled his planned visit to Japan in April in a diplomatic protest against a visit by Japanese leaders to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo.

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