SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) – South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui Young will hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from the United States, the United Kingdom, India and the European Union on the sidelines of the group session. The State Department said on Friday that it will be among the G-7 countries in London next week.
The first direct meeting of the foreign and development ministers of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries in more than two years will be held from Monday to Wednesday. South Korea, Australia, India, South Africa, Brunei and the president of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were invited to attend the meeting.
Chung is scheduled to hold talks with his British counterpart Dominic Raab on Thursday, while the sixth strategic dialogue between the foreign ministers of the two countries will be at Chevening House in Kent near London.
The two sides plan to discuss the stable development of bilateral relations after the UK’s exit from the European Union, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and global issues such as climate change and public health.
On the sidelines of the G7 meeting, Chung also plans to meet with his counterparts in the United States, India and the European Union – Anthony Blinken, Subramaniam Jaishankar and Josep Borrell, respectively. The ministry did not say when the talks would take place.
Attention turns to whether Chung will hold his first talks with his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi, during the multilateral forum.
The Foreign Ministry did not announce any plans for dialogue between the two ministers, but a diplomatic source said that efforts were being made to organize bilateral dialogues, as well as a tripartite meeting with the participation of Minister Blinken.
Chung made proposals for dialogue with Motegi “in any form,” but the Japanese official refused, amid protracted disputes over wartime forced labor in Tokyo, sexual slavery, and export restrictions.
Relations between Seoul and Tokyo showed no signs of improvement, as Japan renewed its territorial claims over South Korea’s easternmost islands of Dokdo, and plans to dump radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, despite security concerns.
The G7 meeting agenda includes joint efforts to ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines, recover from the epidemic, support girls ’education in underdeveloped countries, and climate change.