South Korea confirms summit with Japan on Nov 2

South Korean President Park Geun Hye will hold a summit in Seoul with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week, said a statement from her office on Oct 28, 2015.
South Korean President Park Geun Hye will hold a summit in Seoul with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week, said a statement from her office on Oct 28, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean President Park Geun Hye will hold a long-awaited summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week, with the sensitive issue of Korean “comfort women” on the agenda, officials said on Wednesday (Oct 28).

It will be their first one-on-one meeting after an extended diplomatic freeze, during which Park turned down repeated requests to sit down with Abe.

A spokesman for the presidential Blue House said the summit would take place in Seoul on Monday, on the sidelines of a trilateral leadership gathering with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Park and Abe will “exchange ideas on issues of mutual concern including the comfort women issue", the spokesman said.

Relations between the two neighbours have never been easy – clouded by sensitive historical disputes related to Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula and, in particular, the issue of Korean women forcibly recruited to work in Japanese wartime military brothels.

Park’s previous refusals to meet Abe were predicated on her insistence that Tokyo had yet to properly atone for its past actions.