S. Korea, Japan foreign ministers to hold talks Thurs.

01, Aug. 2019

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SEOUL, Kyodo - South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha and her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono will hold talks Thursday on the fringes of ASEAN-related meetings in Bangkok, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The meeting will take place on the eve of the Japanese government's widely expected decision to remove South Korea from a list of countries that enjoy preferential treatment in purchasing Japanese products that could be diverted to military use.

Seoul, already unhappy with Tokyo's tightening of rules for exports of high-tech materials to South Korea in early July, opposes the expected removal from the so-called white list, which could affect more than 1,000 items including electronic parts and machinery.

It will be the first face-to-face talks between Kang and Kono since Japan's export control measure, which has aggravated already fraying bilateral ties.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday en route to Bangkok, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he will hold trilateral talks with Kono and Kang in Bangkok in an effort to defuse tensions between the key U.S. allies.

The three-way meeting is expected to be held Friday on the sidelines of Association of Southeast Asian Nations-related foreign ministerial meetings, according to Japanese and South Korean officials. (Kyodo)