Above all, Japan and South Korea want to talk about their rapprochement. Just before the start of the meeting, neighboring North Korea is flexing its muscles.
Overshadowed by North Korea’s renewed test of a nuclear-capable missile, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has arrived in Tokyo for talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Both US allies want to try to resolve their disagreements over how to deal with Japan’s colonial and wartime past and quickly improve their security and economic ties.
It is the first time in twelve years that Yoon, a South Korean head of state, has visited neighboring Japan for bilateral talks.
China’s growing claim to power
A few hours before the start of the summit, North Korea had tested a nuclear-capable missile with a range of thousands of kilometers. According to the South Korean military, the rocket flew about 1,000 kilometers towards the Sea of Japan (Korean: East Sea), where it fell into the water. According to observers, North Korea’s ongoing missile tests and China’s growing claim to power underscore the urgency of Seoul and Tokyo to cooperate more closely with their security partner, the United States.
Yoon’s visit, accompanied by his wife, is seen as a clear sign of rapprochement between the two neighboring countries. South Korea’s conservative government had previously announced plans to settle the decades-long dispute over compensation for former Korean forced laborers under Japanese colonial rule (1910 to 1945).
Kishida welcomed Seoul’s move. It was also considered likely given the ongoing threat from North Korea that both sides would agree to resume bilateral security talks.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.