South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday said that nothing has been finalised regarding a potential summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of a NATO gathering in Spain later this month.
“With diplomatic issues, it’s a bit difficult for me to confirm anything before it’s decided, but nothing has been finalised,” Yoon told reporters as he arrived for work.
The president is set to travel to Madrid to attend a NATO summit on June 29-30, which has led to speculation he could meet with Kishida on the sidelines, Yonhap news agency reported.
If realised, the meeting would be the first summit between the two countries in over two years amid tensions over historical issues stemming from Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported the same day that the summit is unlikely to take place as the conditions are not yet ripe, with no proposal from Seoul on how to resolve the issue of compensation for Koreans forced into labour for Japanese companies during the colonial rule.