South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Friday improved ties with Japan were helping to combat threats from Pyongyang's weapons developments and called for help from the international community to bring about unification with North Korea.

Under Yoon's conservative administration, Seoul has sought better ties with Tokyo, which have been fraught with historical baggage for years at a time of China's growing influence and North Korea's growing missile and nuclear programs.

During a ceremony to mark an independence holiday, Yoon said next year would be the 60th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations with Japan and he hoped it could be a chance for the bilateral relationship to reach a "higher level."