According to a senior official in the United States administration, Vice President Joe Biden extended an invitation to the presidents of Japan and South Korea to participate in formal three-way discussions in Washington on Sunday.
As long-frozen ties between the neighbors begin to thaw, the presidents exchanged a few words with one another during a brief meeting that took place on the margins of the G7 conference, which was hosted in Japan.
Tokyo and Seoul, both important US allies, have been at odds with one another for a long time over issues relating to Japan’s brutal colonial rule of Korea between the years of 1910 and 1945, including sexual slavery and forced labor.
Since Seoul unveiled a plan to recompense those impacted by wartime forced labor without Tokyo’s involvement, however, both South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have taken strong attempts to heal strained relations between their two countries.
According to a statement released by the White House, Vice President Joe Biden congratulated the two individuals for their “courageous work to improve their bilateral ties.”
In addition, according to the statement, the three presidents talked about “new coordination” about “illicit nuclear and missile threats” coming from North Korea.
According to the official, the time and location of the meeting would be determined “soon,” but there were no further information immediately available.
Earlier, Yoon and Kishida made a historic visit Sunday to a memorial for Koreans killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
It was the first time that the leaders of the two countries visited the memorial together, and it was only the second time that a Japanese prime minister had visited the memorial.
During a meeting between the two countries that took place after the visit, Yoon made the following statement: “This will be remembered as a courageous action by Prime Minister Kishida that paves the way for a peaceful future while expressing grief for the Korean victims of the atomic bombing.”