A senior U.S. official on Friday expressed willingness to hold a trilateral foreign ministerial meeting with Japan and South Korea on the sidelines of Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings next week in Bangkok.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, among other top diplomats from the region, are set to gather in the Thai capital at a time when Tokyo-Seoul ties have fallen to their lowest point in years due to disputes over wartime history and trade policy.

"I think any time we have the U.S., the ROK and Japan in the same place, there's going to be a desire to get together," the senior State Department official told reporters, signaling possible U.S. intervention in helping improve relations between the two American allies.