Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday that First Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun urged his Japanese counterpart Takeo Mori to take appropriate steps as soon as possible regarding a Japanese diplomat's recent inappropriate comments about South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
And according to Japan's Kyodo News, Mori once again said Tokyo cannot accept rulings by Seoul courts ordering compensation for the victims of Japan's wartime system of sexual slavery and the victims of forced labor.
Choi, in response, voiced hope that Tokyo will take an open view based on a proper awareness of history and said that the basis for solving the problem is to have an understanding of and sympathy for the victims.
They also exchanged views on the COVID-19 situation and issues on the Korean Peninsula, pledging continued efforts and close coordination to arrange a future summit between their countries' leaders.
Tuesday's meeting was frostier than ever.
There was no handshake or even an elbow bump between the two, a reflection of the cool atmosphere between Seoul and Tokyo following controversial remarks made last week by Seoul-based Japanese diplomat Hirohisa Soma.
Before his departure for Tokyo Tuesday morning, Choi said that Soma's comments greatly hampered plans for a now scrapped Seoul-Tokyo summit.
Moon's office on Monday also announced that Moon will not visit Japan for the opening of the Olympic Games.
On Wednesday, Choi will attend talks with his counterparts from the U.S. and Japan, which will be the eighth round of its kind and the first one in four years.
Wednesday's meeting is expected to cover North Korea issues, climate change as well as their cooperation against the coronavirus.
Choi will also sit down with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in Seoul on Friday.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.