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S. Korean FM heads to Munich for series of bilateral meetings Updated: 2020-02-14 07:04:33 KST

South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha left Thursday for Germany, where she'll attend the Munich Security Conference later this week.

"Seoul's Foreign Ministry is yet to confirm whether Minister Kang will be sitting down with her counterparts from the U.S., Japan and China. But if the talks do happen, they'll definitely be touching upon some important issues ranging from North Korea to security and economy."

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Kang said if she gets to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo one-on-one, then they're likely to discuss the sharing of defense costs and the denuclearization talks with North Korea.
She added that the reshuffle at the U.S. State Department won't have much impact on the nuclear negotiations as Stephen Biegun, who's now the Deputy Secretary of State, is still firmly in charge.

There'll be even more to talk about if she meets with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi because of the two countries' prolonged diplomatic row.
Japan has restricted exports to South Korea in retaliation for the South Korean Supreme Court's rulings in 2018 that ordered Japanese firms to compensate the Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor.
Seoul, in turn, decided to terminate its intel-sharing pact with Japan, called GSOMIA, but in the end delayed that decision.
Senior officials from Seoul and Tokyo have met several times over the matter, but the two sides are still far apart.

"There have been conversations between the export authorities of the two sides, but things have not recovered to where they were before last July. Our decision in November to postpone the termination of GSOMIA was a temporary measure. We have the basic right to terminate the pact anytime we want."

Another big talking point is the radioactive waste in Fukushima.
Japan has not yet officially decided how to deal with it, but is leaning towards releasing it into the sea.
Seoul's urging Tokyo to share related information transparently and abide by international standards.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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