South Korea’s President Park Geun-Hye said in an interview with international broadcaster BBC that there is “no purpose” for holding a summit with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe because Japan still refuses to apologize for its wrongdoings. The two neighbours and allies in keeping North Korea’s nuclear program in check have been embroiled in a territorial dispute and disagreements over historical issues, which has worsened in the past year.
“If Japan continues to stick to the same historical perceptions and repeat its past comments, then what purpose would a summit serve? Perhaps it would be better not to have one,” she said in the interview. Park says there is no point to talking about economic or political issues if Japan continually says they have nothing to apologize for. She claims that none of the historical issues have been resolved or even addressed, referring to abuses during Japan’s colonial rule over South Korea from 1910-1945, particularly the sexual slavery of women during World War II.
The United States has been trying to get the two countries, their two closest military allies in the region, to settle their differences, especially as there is a strong possibility that the six-party talks between the three of them, Russia, North Korea and China will resume soon. Seoul and Pyongyang have been continually meeting for discussions over the possibility of the latter’s denuclearization, but analysts believe that Tokyo and Seoul have to present a unified front to the reclusive state in order to strengthen their position.
[ via BBC News ]
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