Security talks between Seoul and Tokyo will apparently resume next month after a three-year hiatus, despite a widening rift between the neighbors over the Japanese government's lurch to the far right.
A senior Foreign Ministry official on Sunday said "an agreement was reached" to resume the consultation because there a "strong sense of urgency."
The official said more talks are needed to set a concrete date. Another official said the talks could be held next month or in December.
The Korea-Japan security policy meeting involves officials from the foreign and defense ministries of both sides to discuss regional security issues.
The talks were held every year from 1997 to 2009 but then stopped as relations chilled.
The government decided to resume the talks because it feels a need to counter growing international acceptance of Japan's right to deploy troops overseas and concerns here that bilateral relations cannot be left in the freezer forever.
The U.S., U.K. and Australia have declared their support for Japan's right to so-called "collective self-defense," which allows it to send troops to an ally which is in some way under threat.
A high-ranking Cheong Wa Dae official said diplomats must find ways to thaw bilateral ties in "working-level" talks, since a summit would not guarantee tangible results but could compound political dilemmas.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought a summit with President Park Geun-hye several times through unofficial channels, but Seoul has refused so far.
It remains to be seen whether that will change after the security talks.