Japan and South Korea meet for the first time in 12 years | DW News

For the first time in 12 years, the leaders of South Korea and Japan are meeting. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol seek to rebuild security and economic ties.

What has brought two countries with historical distrust of each other together are two other countries in the region: China and North Korea. Twelve years ago, neither Xi Jinping nor Kim Jong Un had yet come to power. So much has changed over the past decade.

Now, Yoon and Kishida are signaling they want a fresh start. At the talks, the two agreed to resume “shuttle diplomacy”. They also agreed to settle a trade dispute, related to compensation for Korean forced laborers during Japan’s colonial rule.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang responded to this meeting the way it often does: by firing a long-range ballistic missile. The most recent one landed in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

It’s North Korea’s third weapons test this week, including launches of medium-range rockets and two missiles from a submarine. Not exactly the most subtle message. Though it’s likely to have the opposite effect, and only bring Tokyo and Seoul closer together.

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