Overshadowed by North Korea’s renewed test of a nuclear-capable missile, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visits Japan for talks with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo. They want to resume their mutual visit diplomacy. Both agreed on that.

Japan is “happy to open a new chapter” in relations between the two neighboring countries, Kishida told his interlocutor, according to the Kyodo news agency.

It is the first time in twelve years that Yoon, a South Korean head of state, is visiting Japan for bilateral talks.

China’s growing claim to power

Before the summit began, North Korea had tested a nuclear-capable missile with a range of thousands of kilometers. According to the South Korean military, the rocket flew about 1,000 kilometers towards the Sea of ​​Japan (Korean: East Sea), where it fell into the water. According to observers, North Korea’s ongoing missile tests and China’s growing claim to power underscore the urgency of Seoul and Tokyo to cooperate more closely with their security partner, the United States.

Yoon’s visit, accompanied by his wife, is seen as a clear sign of rapprochement between the two neighboring countries. South Korea’s conservative government had previously announced plans to settle the decades-long dispute over compensation for former Korean forced laborers under Japanese colonial rule (1910 to 1945).

Kishida welcomed Seoul’s move. It was also considered likely given the ongoing threat from North Korea that both sides would agree to resume bilateral security talks.