S. Korea official hints at possible thaw


South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se stressed Wednesday the need for both his country and Japan to make efforts to mend their soured relations.

In a lecture in Seoul, Yun said he wants Japan to do more to improve bilateral relations. If Japan acts sincerely on history issues, South Koreans might come to acknowledge its efforts, he said.

Yun said the South Korean government will also make efforts to stabilize its ties with Japan, noting he is aware that Japan cares about the bilateral relationship.

The remarks indicated that Seoul, which has so far unilaterally urged Tokyo to correct its attitude over thorny issues, may be starting to make its own effort to lay the ground to improve ties.

Still, Yun noted that remarks made by Japanese officials have intensified an emotional confrontation between the South Korean and Japanese people. As one such example, Yun pointed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s remark in April that the definition of invasion has not been fixed internationally or in the academic community.

Yun said Japan needs to act in a way similar to that of Germany, calling on the country to sincerely reflect on the mistakes it made in the past and offer an apology.