The unexpected agreement comes more than a year after Pyongyang blew up ties — and an inter-Korean building that had been symbolic of the relationship.
For Jesse Johnson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Tokyo had been lukewarm on a visit, as it did not expect the South Korean president to propose solutions to festering grievances over historical, political and economic issues.
Plans to hold the first in-person summit between the leaders of Japan and South Korea had hit a snag over a disparaging comment by a Japanese diplomat about the South Korean president.
The downward trajectory is unlikely to be altered any time soon, experts say, as top officials in both countries are buckling down for a long-haul competition.
With signs emerging of a new wave of infections in the capital, competing narratives are emerging about the safety of allowing fans at Olympic venues.
With the remarks, Aso became the most senior government official to state a clear scenario in which the SDF would be deployed to help defend another country or region.
Kim accused senior officials of failing to carry out strict anti-virus measures, leaving the isolated country vulnerable to "grave consequences," state media reported Wednesday.
The state minister of defense has suggested that Japan, the U.S. and other countries re-examine their decisions to follow the “One China” policy that recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei.
Recent remarks by Pyongyang pouring cold water on chances of dialogue are almost certainly part of a choreographed response to a U.S. offer of unconditional talks.
The mission comes as Beijing faces international calls to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait and as the Chinese Communist Party's 100th anniversary fast approaches.