The head of South Korea's National Intelligence Service met in Tokyo Wednesday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
According to reports citing diplomatic sources, Park Jie-won made a courtesy call on Prime Minister Suga since Park was in Tokyo for trilateral talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts.
Park reportedly relayed a verbal message to Suga from President Moon Jae-in likely stressing the need to normalize ties and step up bilateral cooperation.
Suga is said to have shown a positive response.
Park is also known to have said that relations cannot remain the way they are and Suga agreed.
There's also speculation that Park may have raised the need for a summit between the leaders.
Ties are strained over historical issues, such as Japan's use of forced labor and its World War Two system of sexual slavery.