June 29, 2022 02:58 GMT
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Japanese Prime Minister Kishida and South Korean President Yoon spoke briefly on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid, officials from both countries confirmed.
- Reports suggest that the leaders spoke just for a few minutes, exchanged courtesies and vowed to keep working towards improving relations between their countries.
- South Korea's presidential office had earlier suggested that there would be no bilateral meeting, even in the form of casual "pull aside" talks.
- Instead, the two East Asian nations have opted for a trilateral meeting with U.S. President Biden to be held at 14:25 Madrid time.
- Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have been tense owing to ongoing spats over historical matters, such as conpensation for wartime Korean forced labourers.
- But regional security challenges, such as China's increasingly assertive posturing and North Korean missile tests, are raising pressure on Japan and South Korea to close ranks.