President Park Geun-hye said Monday she is open to a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but it would have to held in a suitable environment to be "successful and meaningful."

"There is no reason not to hold a summit, but the summit must be meaningful and should achieve progress and also the summit should not cause (relations) to move backward," Park told journalists at a New Year's press conference.

She said it is "regrettable that an environment has not been sufficiently created," referring to the failure to resolve the issue of former South Korean "comfort women" who worked in wartime Japanese military brothels, in some cases against their will.