SEOUL – South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed the view Wednesday that it is difficult to hold a bilateral summit with Japan under the current atmosphere.
According to the Yonhap news agency, Park said at a meeting with editorial staff of South Korean media that relations with Japan will deteriorate further if problems were to emerge soon after she met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
She cited as sources of concern the dispute over the South Korea-held Sea of Japan islets called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, and the issue of the “comfort women,” females, in large part Korean, who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during the war.
Although she admitted the need to hold talks with Japan, Park said summit and other important meetings are meaningful only when the two countries are moving in a positive direction, Yonhap reported.
Park was also quoted as saying Japan’s positions, including claiming sovereignty over the islets and refusing to redress the wartime sex slave issue, continue to cause distress in South Korea and thus a bilateral summit should not take place until the atmosphere becomes future-oriented.