Summit between S. Korea, Japan, US to be held in The Hague

Updated: 2014-03-21 09:41


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SEOUL - Widely expected trilateral summit among South Korea, Japan and the United States will be held next week in The Hague, the Netherlands, the South Korean presidential office said Friday.

Presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told reporters that the Foreign Ministry will make an announcement on the South Korea-Japan-US summit, which will be held in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Summit between S. Korea, Japan, US to be held in The Hague

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been widely expected to sit down face-to-face with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe under the arbitration of US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Hague Nuclear Security Summit slated for the coming Monday and Tuesday.

Possibilities for the trilateral summit became higher after Abe said last Friday that his cabinet will inherit the Kono and Murayama statements, or past apologies for the militaristic Japan's sex slavery and wartime aggression.

President Park welcomed Abe's comments for the first time since her inauguration in February last year, but Seoul urged Tokyo to take sincere actions to let the bilateral summit be held, saying Japan's action to solve the "comfort women" issue will be required.

South Korea has demanded the Abe cabinet's official apology and compensation for the "comfort women" victims. The comfort woman is a euphemism for young women coerced into sex slavery for the Japanese military brothels during World War II.

Washington expressed concerns over Abe's attitude toward history as frayed ties between Seoul and Tokyo led to growing uncertainties about a three-way security alliance between the three allies, denting Obama's "pivot to Asia" policy.

After Russia accepted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as its territory on Tuesday, the US might have wanted to make one voice with its two Asian allies by taking the opportunity of the nuclear security summit in The Hague.

Kim Jang-soo, top security advisor to President Park, held a meeting Wednesday afternoon with related security ministers to discuss whether to agree on the trilateral summit between South Korea, Japan and the United States, which Japan has reportedly hoped to hold on the sidelines of the Hague Nuclear Security Summit.