Moon, Abe to Hold 'Informal' Meeting at G20 Summit

  • By Lee Ha-won, Ahn Jun-yong

    June 13, 2019 12:05

    Japan plans to arrange an informal "pull-aside" between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Moon Jae-in during the G20 summit in Osaka later this month, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.

    The two sides are not on speaking terms but are grudgingly caving in to pressure from the U.S., which worries that icy relations between its chief allies could harm its interest in Northeast Asia.

    Moon Jae-in (left) and Shinzo Abe

    The Asahi Shimbun reported that the meeting would last only a "short time" and that they would be standing up the whole time.

    Neither side feels the timing is right for a formal summit due to diplomatic conflicts over a welter of issues including compensations for wartime forced labor victims. But as the host of the G20 summit, Abe can hardly afford to ignore Moon completely.

    The Foreign Ministry here said nothing has been decided, and the Japanese Embassy in Korea also said the matter is still being discussed.

    Instead, the two countries' foreign ministers are likely to sit down formally on the sidelines. But it is still too early to rule out a formal bilateral summit since the G20 is more than two weeks away.

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