It is said that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Japan will be a top priority for the Moon Jae-in administration and could be considered a prerequisite for improving inter-Korean relations. With the Biden administration emphasizing the importance of close cooperation among Washington, Seoul and Tokyo in resolving issues related to Beijing and Pyongyang, improving relations with Tokyo could make it easier for South Korea to coordinate policies towards North Korea with the United States.
A South Korean government official said Sunday that relations with Japan should improve first if inter-Korean relations were to thaw, describing the restoration of relations with Japan as number one diplomatic goal. It is also said that South Korean government officials have expressed to the Biden administration a willingness to engage in the trilateral cooperation while explaining its efforts to improve relations with Tokyo and asking Washington for its support.
Meanwhile, the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong agreed in a phone call on Friday that it is crucial cooperation among the United States, South Korea and Japan continues. “Blinken highlighted the importance of continued U.S.- Republic of Korea-Japan cooperation,” said the U.S. Department of State.
“Current tensions between South Korea and Japan are regrettable,” said a State Department official speaking to the Voice of America on Thursday, adding that the Biden administration is enhancing relations not only with its allies but also between its allies and none are more important than the South Korea-Japan ties.
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