Japan and South Korea agreed Wednesday to keep working together to address issues related to North Korea, but remained apart over the thorny bilateral issue of wartime labor, during their foreign ministerial meeting in Brazil, according to the Japanese government.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and her counterpart Cho Tae-yul met in person for the first time since Cho took office last month, on the sidelines of a foreign ministerial meeting of the Group of 20 major economies in Rio de Janeiro.

Kamikawa and Cho met after having reaffirmed during phone talks last month that the two countries shared serious concerns about a series of "provocative acts" by North Korea, such as its test launches of ballistic missiles in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.