Prospects of trilateral talks between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan to resolve a trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo, appear to be fading.
This according to South Korean presidential advisor Kim Hyun-chong, as he left a meeting with U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Charles Kupperman on his third day in Washington.
Kim hinted that Japan's passive stance is preventing three-way cooperation from taking place.
"We could have pushed for the meeting during Stillwell's Asia visit, but with Japan being passive, wouldn't there be a higher possibility of it not taking place?
Kim told reporters earlier that the U.S. offered to convene a meeting to mediate between the two sides while Washington's top chief for East Asia policy David Stilwell is in the region.
The U.S. may be willing, but Japan's apathetic stance is preventing such a meeting from happening, according to Kim.
Stilwell said in an NHK interview, that he has no plans to take on the role of an arbiter in the bilateral dispute, confirming there are no timetables for discussion between the three countries as of now.
As for the prospects of North Korea-U.S. working-level talks resuming in mid-July, Kim said they would have to wait and see when it commences.
He said the U.S. appears to be waiting on the North.
For their part, Kim and Kupperman agreed to discuss the North Korea issue frequently through an open communication line.
He declined to provide further details on what the agendas would be for the two sides' nuclear negotiations.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.