The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan have reaffirmed their mutual goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and agreed to develop peaceful and progressive Seoul-Tokyo ties.
"Amid the planned inter-Korean summit and U.S-North Korea talks, I hope to work with Minister Kono in heading towards our mutual goal of establishing a peaceful resolution to the North Korean issue and creating stability on the Korean peninsula."
"We respect South Korea's hard work up until now. I hope for close cooperation between the two countries in realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and bringing peace and prosperity to the region."
The two sides also agreed that pressure and sanctions must remain on North Korea for now, but Minister Kang said it is important to keep the momentum for talks going, and asked for Japan's cooperation.
The two diplomats also said that it is vital for the two to actively communicate, including sharing details of the inter-Korean summit and the U.S.-Japan summit slated for next week.
Kono also asked Seoul to deliver to the regime, the Japanese government's hopes of solving the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang.
And while Kang said that Seoul understands the importance of such humanitarian issues, and that it has been and will continue to work on the issue, she cannot be sure over the specific agenda that will be brought to the table.
Also, seeing eye-to-eye on the need for a strategic and mutual beneficiary partnership, the two diplomats shared ways to build a relationship that looks towards the future.
This includes the establishment of a task force to boost cultural and human resources exchanges and the settlement of the protracted fisheries agreement issue.
While the controversial "comfort women" deal was briefly mentioned at the meeting, the two sides simply repeated their stances on the issue, which are that Seoul asks for the Japanese government's sincere apologies to the victims and that Japan hopes South Korea will carry out the 2015 deal.
After talking with Minister Kang, Kono paid a visit to Seoul National Cemetery and met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, before meeting Kang again for dinner.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.