Abe meets Moon in S.Korea

Vice President Vice President Mike Pence watches the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics along with Kim Yo-jong the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Vice President Vice President Mike Pence watches the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics along with Kim Yo-jong the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

President Moon Jae-in says he hopes South Korea and Japan will be honest friends that understand each other well.

Abe met with Moon for an hour at a hotel near the venue for the Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, to be held later on February 9.

At the start of the meeting, Moon said that on the occasion of the Olympics, his government is working to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear development and bring permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean president also expressed hope the two countries will look squarely at their shared history and seek future-oriented bilateral cooperation by pooling their wisdom and strength.

Abe, who is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in later on Friday, said he and US Vice President Mike Pence had reconfirmed that Washington and Tokyo stood together "100 per cent" at meetings in the Japanese capital this week.

The nuclear-armed North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive, sending athletes, a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, the ceremonial head of state and even Kim's sister to South Korea.

Abe also said he will tell Moon of Japan's stance on the lingering issue of "comfort women" forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels following South Korea's recent policy shift over a 2015 bilateral agreement to settle the feud "finally and irreversibly".

South Korea's task force team investigated the agreement, finding a secret deal between the Abe-led government and the South Korean government under then President Park Geun-hye.

In part, Moon said that to completely resolve the issue, there was a need for Japan to offer a honest apology to the former comfort women. Abe repeated the Japanese stance that it could not accept the unilateral request made by South Korea for additional measures.

No such statues have been removed, however.

Under the deal, Japan paid 1 billion yen ($9.1 million) to a foundation to support the victims and Abe expressed his "most honest apologies and remorse" to them.

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