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South Korea and Japan break diplomatic freeze during trilateral summit

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(Credit: MoneyTimes) South Korean President Park Geun-Hye (C), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) attend at a business summit on November 1, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. President Park Geun-hye, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang gathered in Seoul to hold a trilateral summit for the first time in three years. The issues to be discussed include the trilateral free trade agreement, perceptions on wartime history, and territorial disputes.Japan-South Korea relations
November 3
8:45 PM 2015

The leaders of South Korea and Japan have finally decided to break their long-standing diplomatic freeze in favor of combining forces to address North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

The first trilateral summit in three years proved to be a huge success as China, Japan, and South Korea have restored their relations and can now focus on curbing the growing nuclear threat from North Korea.

In an effort to ease diplomatic tension between the two nations, an agreement was made to address the issue pertaining to South Korean comfort women during WWII, with Japan standing by the fact that a normalisation agreement was made in 1965 that paid out a total of $800 million in the form of grants or loans to make up for the wartime incident.

According to Yahoo News, it was the first one-on-one meeting between the two leaders and was also a very important one as both South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have now addressed the "biggest stumbling block" to their friendly relations.

The trilateral summit, which took place on Sunday, was the sixth for the East Asian powers, with the first one held on 2008 and was put on hold on 2012 as relations between Japan and South Korea began to sour.

Japan is reported to be the host for the next trilateral summit, which leaders agreed should be "held on a regular basis in the three countries," as reported on CNN.

The summit lasted 90 minutes and covered a wide range of topics, according to CNBC. Reports suggest that the leaders are making a renewed commitment to economic progress and will strive to bring change to North Korea as future summits take place.

Korea and Japan are still in the process of resolving the issue of the WWII comfort women, which Park strongly believes that Japan has not yet completely atoned for. There is no announcement yet of when Park and Abe will finalize their talk on the wartime aggression, but Abe is clearly willing to make amends, even stating that "[they] must not leave impediments to the next generation."

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