President Park Geun-hye said Friday (Korea time) she is open to a separate meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when she hosts China and Japan for a trilateral summit in Seoul in two weeks, Yonhap reports.
Park added that the summit with the Japanese prime minister would be meaningful if progress can be made on the issue of former sex slaves, as she spoke on the eve of a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. She was speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington as part of her four-day state visit.
Since taking office, Park has not held a summit with Abe, with the President calling for Japan to apologize for the sexual slavery of Korean women during World War II. Japan has expressed remorse, but not formally apologized for its colonial aggressions.
The two leaders met briefly and talked on the sidelines of the a U.N. meeting in September, raising speculation of a Seoul-Tokyo summit. Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the junior partner in the Japanese ruling coalition, also delivered a letter from Abe to the President when he visited Seoul in early October.
In comparison, Park and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met five times.